Placer Supervisors board in review | SierraSun.com

Placer Supervisors board in review

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

At its monthly meeting in Tahoe Monday and Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors discussed and approved a strategic wildfire prevention plan, updated the site selection process for the Tahoe government center, and approved the purchase of an old Kings Beach gas station. To see the full agenda check out http://www.placer.ca.gov.

In a major effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the eastern part of the county while producing consumable energy, the Placer Board of Supervisors approved the implementation of a five-year wildfire and biomass plan.

During 2006 and early 2007 the Wildfire Protection and Biomass Policy team developed a program to enhance Placer County’s ability to prevent catastrophic wildfire as well as to utilize the renewable biomass load. The strategic five-year plan outlines Placer’s vision and goals, including the continuation of the Tahoe Basin Biomass Removal Program begun last fall and the Defensible Space Chipper Program, and start the Biomass Box Program this spring, said Placer’s senior management analyst, Brett Storey.

Federal, state and local agencies will all participate in the efforts, and even share some of the costs, Storey said.

The anticipated cost to the county shows an average of $525,000 per year for the five years. Included in the five-year plan is the implementation of a Tahoe biomass facility.

“Our county is getting known as the progressive one,” said District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz.

The Kingswood parcel was officially voted off the list of six properties under consideration for a Placer government center at Tahoe.

The government center is an effort to consolidate the county’s Tahoe-area services such as planning, building and the county executive office, as well as possibly partnering with other agencies like the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency or U.S. Forest Service.

County staff needs more time before recommending a property to the board because none of them stand out as the best, said Mary Dietrich, Placer assistant director of facility services.

The Kingswood property was taken off the list of possible sites under review from Squaw Valley through Tahoe City to Kings Beach because of resounding community opposition. Neighbors of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District property located off Highway 267 expressed concern with traffic and noise impacts.

Dietrich said that county staff has met with the public for eight community forums and will come back to the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council again later this month.

County staff said they hope to return to the Board of Supervisors at its July meeting in Tahoe with a site recommendation for the Tahoe-based government center.

Potential designs are in the works for gateway signs welcoming visitors to Kings Beach.

Pastore Ryan has created two designs for signs to be located at either end of town. The one slated for the old Swiss Mart property is about 11 feet tall and will welcome those driving into the Tahoe Basin from the east. And another, more conservative sign will be placed lakeside between Tahoe Vista and Kings Beach for drivers arriving from the west.

The signs still need to go through the design review committee, and the Redevelopment Agency will come back before the Board of Supervisors at a summer board meeting, said Rae James, Placer’s redevelopment deputy director.

According to a Redevelopment Agency memo, the anticipated cost of the signs is between $50,000 and $70,000.

The county is hoping to unveil the monument signs in October, James said.