Roller coaster at Northstar: Placer County reviews initial plans; public hearing to take place
March 3, 2010
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Placer County officials on Wednesday reviewed initial plans for a proposed roller coaster near Northstar-at-Tahoe, an idea that has drawn public scrutiny based on noise and environmental concerns.On Feb. 18, the county planning department received an environmental noise assessment and an environmental questionnaire from Booth Creek Ski Holdings (which manages Northstar and Northstar Village). Both reports outlined plans for an alpine coaster described as a two-person toboggan that could be controlled by riders and reach speeds of up to 25 mph.andamp;#8220;The proposed coaster is consistent with the definition of outdoor commercial recreation, a land use that is allowed with the approval of a minor use permit,andamp;#8221; said Paul Thompson, a Placer County deputy planning director, on Wednesday. Next, county planning staff must make an environmental determination. andamp;#8220;Both the use permit and the completed environmental document will be considered by a hearing body at a public hearing at a future date.andamp;#8221;David Landis, an area homeowner who originally voiced concern over the coaster, said he is andamp;#8220;severely disappointedandamp;#8221; with Placer County’s decision and hinted toward possible litigation.andamp;#8220;If Placer County and its supervisors don’t have an environmental impact report, we will be filling a lawsuit,andamp;#8221; Landis said. Landis has been speaking with Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, who represents the Lake Tahoe region.andamp;#8220;I have a meeting next week with Paul Thompson and with Mike Wells from Planning and will be asking for more detail on this project,andamp;#8221; Montgomery said in an e-mail to Landis.Check back to http://www.sierrasun.com for updates to this story.Clarification: In a previous version of this article it was stated Placer County approved initial plans for the alpine coaster; however, Thompson said the proposal is still under review but will go to a public hearing soon.
A similar alpine coaster has been running for years at Glenwood Cavern Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and the Northstar coaster would be similar, officials said.Below is a YouTube video with a look at the Colorado coaster, posted by Glenwood Cavern Adventure Park.