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Summit residents pursue community plan

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

Donner Summit residents can now access a report of public input generated during a forum held Dec. 16 regarding future development of the area.

A large number of residents and Summit organizations gathered, in what was called the Summit Summit, to assist in the preliminary stages of a community plan for the area. Such an outline does not currently exist within Placer or Nevada counties’ general plans.

And from the 70 or so people in attendance at the forum, a “small working group” was formed that will meet once a month to discuss community plan progress, said Dan Wexler, Donner Summit Area Association president. At the working group’s first meeting, tentatively scheduled for the end of January, members will organize and prioritize comments and suggestions related to the Summit’s future, Wexler said.

“For the first time I’m aware of,” representatives from the Cedars, Palisades and Kingvale homeowners organizations collaborated on the community plan, Wexler said. “That was the most powerful statement made.”

The area association and the Serene Lakes Property Owners Association hosted the mid-month forum with local nonprofits, businesses and homeowners to address regional development planning and to gather public input for future updates to general plans in both counties.

Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council vice president for programs, led a discussion of the general plan process at the forum.

There’s a difficult issue at the plan’s core, he said: “How do you facilitate the long-range vision when it’s bisected by county lines?”

The process of coordinating Placer and Nevada County planners to develop a cohesive community plan “adds that one additional layer” of difficulty, Frisch said.

Frisch said the only issue that wasn’t directly addressed at the forum is the current state of the overall infrastructure on the Summit ” water, sewer, construction ” “the [status of the] underlying infrastructure seems to be a little unclear at this time.”

The topic of growth and future development of Royal Gorge ski resort, though not explicitly discussed at the forum, will eventually be addressed as the planning process continues, since this will essentially be the Summit’s build-out plan, Frisch said.

Wexler said he anticipates the small group will meet with both Placer and Nevada County planners to talk about the community plan within the next few months.

In keeping on track with a community plan timeline, the small group will review the general plans of both Nevada and Placer counties and will translate the forum suggestions into “planning language,” Wexler said. From there, he said, the next step will be to work with developers on the plan.

Wexler said the next Summit Summit forum will likely take place in summer 2007.

Through the first forum’s strong start, “we did achieve some legitimacy,” Wexler said. “We do represent this entire community.”


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