Royal Gorge draft plans coming soon | SierraSun.com

Royal Gorge draft plans coming soon

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sun file photoVan Norden Meadows is one of the major landmarks in the Royal Gorge area atop Donner Summit. Development plans will detail what happens there.

A draft specific plan, as well as more information on water and sewer issues, may be coming from the prospective developers of Royal Gorge before the end of the year.

The plan will outline details of the proposed Donner Summit development, and the additional documents will outline studies on water supply and wastewater management issues that will come with the project.

“We will be making the draft specific plan and additional documents available in advance of project submittal, and we’re thinking that will happen some time in November,” said Mike Livak, Royal Gorge project manager.

The additional documents cover studies on water, sewer, traffic, biological conditions and wetland delineations, Livak said.

“We have undertaken some work in contract with the Sierra Lakes County Water District,” he said. “One study we are working on is a preliminary look at the potential effects of managing water levels differently.”

Royal Gorge has a couple of options in dealing with wastewater as well, Livak said.

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“Working in cooperation with the Donner Summit Public Utility District is the preferred option ” expanding the existing plant, or creating another treatment plant would be another option,” Livak said.

Tom Skjelstad, general manager for the utility district, said the district is currently expanding the wastewater treatment plant to serve all unimproved lots in the district’s coverage area. The expansion, which is currently in the planning and design phase, will be complete in 2010 or 2011, Skjelstad said.

“That’s the first expansion, when and if Royal Gorge is approved, they will also have to have wastewater services,” he said.

Royal Gorge is not in the public utility district, but is in the Sierra Lakes County Water District, which contracts with the utility district for wastewater treatment, Skjelstad said. He said local government agencies would likely prefer one plant on the Summit, rather than a second one specifically for Royal Gorge, so the district’s plant would likely warrant a second expansion.

“We are only limited in expansion by the acreage of our site, and what the state regional water quality board allows to be discharged into the South Yuba River,” Skjelstad said.

Either way, an expansion or second plant would be paid for by Royal Gorge, Skjelstad said.