Planning commission approves Crystal Bay road redesign | SierraSun.com

Planning commission approves Crystal Bay road redesign

Annie Flanzraich
Sierra Sun

After more than two hours of discussion the Washoe County Planning Commission unanimously approved Boulder Bay’s plan to redesign the roads near the Crystal Bay project.

However, a group of citizens called the North Tahoe Preservation Alliance, formerly called the Friends of Crystal Bay/Brockway, said they will appeal the latest decision.

Boulder Bay, a proposed resort development on the Tahoe Biltmore and former Tahoe Mariner sites, brought the board a road redesign that would create four streets that enter and exit the surrounding community.

At Wednesday night’s meeting in Reno many citizens came out in support and against the project.

“The developer’s proposal isn’t the best for the community, rather its the best for the developer,” said John Sell, a Crystal Bay resident.

However, others disagreed.

Recommended Stories For You

“I am here tonight to voice my support of the Boulder Bay project,” said Sandra Carter, a 20-year North Shore resident. “I have seen the developer be considerate of the beauty of the North Shore.”

The North Tahoe Preservation Alliance had many concerns about the new plan which included replacing a public road with private driveway with public easement, the width of the street and the maintenance of the street.

“This abandonment creates new safety risks,” Nichols said.

In the end the planning commission unanimously approved the abandonment and the slope variance, while specifying that the width of the road should be determined by the engineer with a recommendation to make it 24 feet wide. The board also asked that stronger language be written to ensure the perpetual maintenance of Wellness Way by the developers and its possible successors.

“We’re certainly pleased the planning commission has supported our and the community’s vision,” said Boulder Bay CEO Roger Wittenberg.

However, the Preservation Alliance was not pleased.

“We are disappointed but not that surprised,” Nichols said. “We are going to have to appeal. We’re still not being protected from losing our fourth exit and access.”

This is the second time Boulder Bay has brought a road redesign before the planning commission.

The abandonment and slope variance presented and approved Wednesday night would abandon the southernmost 1,060 feet of Wassou Road and the southernmost 113 feet of Lake View Avenue and all of Reservoir Drive. The new road design would connect Lake View Avenue and Stateline Road.

It would also provide another exit from the neighborhood to State Route 28 by connecting Wassou Road to the proposed new 20-foot-wide private driveway with public easement, dubbed Wellness Way,

Wellness Way would be a privately maintained street, that would be heated for snowmelt.

Brian McCrae from Lumos and Associates and a representative of the project said this alternative had garnered the most community support and was the best solution for the project.

In June, the Washoe County Commissioners upheld an appeal to Boulder Bay’s first proposed road redesign, previously approved by the Washoe County Planning Commission in May. That first design would have eliminated Reservoir Road and realigned Wassou Road to meet with Lake View Avenue. Lake View Avenue would have been extended to meet with Stateline Road.

The county commissioners upheld the appeal to that plan brought by Ann Nichols, a Crystal Bay Realtor then representing the Friends of Crystal Bay/Brockway. The commission also asked the developer to create a road that would include a fourth egress.