TRPA grapples with housing issues | SierraSun.com
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TRPA grapples with housing issues

Jeremy Morrison

With Tahoe growing like a sea monkey, requiring larger pairs of britches and shoes every other month, the area is sure to become increasingly more populated as time saunters on.As each new project unveils itself – Intrawest at Squaw Valley, the Highway 267 bypass, expansions at Northstar-at-Tahoe, etc. – more and more people will flood over the summit and into North Tahoe. Many of these newcomers will settle into low-paying jobs and many of them will also need a place to live. With a real estate market dominated by second homeowners and a limited amount of room to grow in the basin, creating affordable housing in the area could be akin to squeezing Saturn into a thimble without removing the rings.The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency – the end-all, be-all authority on lakeside politics – has reportedly recognized this problem and is taking measures to address the situation.”New industry can count on being required to produce employee housing in some form,” assured Larry Sevison, a governing board member of the TRPA.In the past, Sevison explained, the agency has accepted mitigation efforts in lieu of an organization actually producing affordable/employee housing. When the Resort at Squaw Creek set its sights on Olympic Valley, for example, the TRPA “hammered them pretty hard” and accepted $2 million in mitigation fees.”I don’t know if we would do that again,” Sevison said, adding that new projects in the area would be asked to actually provide housing.While there presently are no Placer or El Dorado county ordinances requiring projects to provide employee housing, Sevison believes this end isbest reached through cooperation within the private sector. Because they have taken the initiative to build a number of employee-housing units on its grounds, Sevison points to Northstar-at-Tahoe as a shining example.”In the future, they’re going to set the stage,” he said of the resort.In one of its more recent efforts, the TRPA encouraged the developers considering replacing the Town and Country Lodge with private, single-family dwellings to explore affordable housing options elsewhere. According to Sevison, the developers were put in touch with Lane Lewis, who had available property behind his Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach.”It just didn’t work into their plans,” Lewis said, explaining that the party in question was not receptive to the idea of building affordable housing in the area. “It just didn’t happen.”In their report to the Placer County Planning Commission, county staff expressed concern over a project that would decrease the amount of affordable housing in the area.”… the project presents a social and housing issue. Namely, moderately priced rental housing that is in short supply would be converted to ‘high-end’ market rate housing … Given the development limitations in the basin, including limitations on lands zoned for multi-residential development, the staff has reservation about the appropriateness of such a change,” the report reads.The Placer County Planning Commission will meet Thursday, Feb. 22, to consider tearing down the lodge and replacing it with nine single-family homes. The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Tahoe City’s Fairway Community Center in the Lakeview Room.best reached through cooperation within the private sector. Because they have taken the initiative to build a number of employee-housing units on its grounds, Sevison points to Northstar-at-Tahoe as a shining example.”In the future, they’re going to set the stage,” he said of the resort.In one of its more recent efforts, the TRPA encouraged the developers to consider replacing the Town & Country Lodge with private, single-family dwellings to explore affordable housing options elsewhere. According to Sevison, the developers were put in touch with Lane Lewis, who had available property behind his Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach.”It just didn’t work into their plans,” Lewis said, explaining that the party in question was not receptive to the idea of building affordable housing in the area. “It just didn’t happen.”In their report to the Placer County Planning Commission, county, staff expressed concern over a project that would decrease the amount of affordable housing in the area.”… the project presents a social and housing issue. Namely, moderately priced rental housing that is in short supply would be converted to ‘high-end’ market rate housing … Given the development limitations in the basin, including limitations on lands zoned for multi-residential development, the staff has reservations about the appropriateness of such a change,” the report reads.The Placer County Planning Commission will meet Thursday, Feb. 22, to consider tearing down the lodge and replacing it with nine single-family homes. The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Tahoe City’s Fairway Community Center in the Lakeview Room.Town &Country Lodgen Public hearing: Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m.n Fairway Community Center


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