TRPA: Boulder Bay land agreements can be amended
September 19, 2008
The Tahoe Regional Planning agency is willing to consider amending two legal agreements regarding the Tahoe Mariner site, as long as the environmental and open space gains for the property remain the same, said TRPA assistant legal counsel Nicole Rinke Thursday afternoon.
Since 1981, the Tahoe Mariner property has gone through two different agreements, one of which has been amended twice.
Amending the language of both Mariner agreements may be important to the future development of the proposed Boulder Bay project, slated for the Tahoe Biltmore and Tahoe Mariner sites in Crystal Bay. The development proposes a hotel, condominiums, workforce housing, meeting space, retail, dining, a spa and gaming, some of which would be built on the Mariner site, which is at Boulder Bay’s proposed northeast corner.
Representatives from Boulder Bay were unavailable for comment before press time Thursday.
Two agreements deal with the Mariner site. The first is a legal settlement agreement from 1981 between the state of California, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the owner of the property, the North Shore Club. After the agency approved a development on the site, California became concerned about the size of the development and extent of the gaming and filed a lawsuit.
“Their interest was in limiting the gaming and limiting the extent of the development,” Rinke said.
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Some of the limitations put on that settlement agreement included 48.7 feet of height, 140 rooms, the use of porous asphalt and not increasing the gaming above 5,500 square feet.
That legal settlement agreement was revised two times, once in 1984 and again in 1996. Both times did not significantly change the intent of the original agreement, said Rinke, who has been studying the agreements for months.
The 2001 agreement, which was not the result of a lawsuit, was between the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and former Tahoe Mariner owners, Crystal Bay Associates. In the settlement, three areas of the property were restricted to open space. In the middle of the open space, an area was reserved for three lots of residential space, according to the legal document.
In its application and plans, Boulder Bay proposes to consolidate the open space land into a 4.16-acre public park at the northeastern portion of the property. The developed land will be shifted to the southern portion and will include 32
Boulder Bay wants to move the developed land so it is contiguous with the rest of the developed area. This will keep a prime scenic area free of structures, said Boulder Bay project manager Brian Helm, in a previous interview.
“That area where the homes were supposed to be built is in a prime view from the lake,” Helm said previously. “If we move them southward we can preserve the view and prevent creating more coverage to connect the developed areas of the project.”
Rinke said in the case of this agreement, the agency is concerned with keeping the open space element, not necessarily the three residential lots.
“The main gist of this agreement was to preserve a certain portion of the parcel as open space,” Rinke said. “But TRPA did not have an interest in the nature and extent of what the development would be.”
If Boulder Bay wishes to move forward with developing the Mariner site, it would need to address both these agreements with the agency and California.
“We are conceptually open to amending, but it would have to be initiated by Boulder Bay,” Rinke said.
The California Attorney General’s Office is still looking into the matter, said spokesman Abraham Arredondo.
“We don’t have a position,” Arredondo said. “We are looking at it and we need additional information. Everything needs to be looked at on the basis of the facts.”
On Thursday night Boulder Bay hosted a community meeting and walk-through of the future site.