Campgrounds next to gated developments on the ridge? | Opinion | SierraSun.com

Campgrounds next to gated developments on the ridge? | Opinion

Martis Valley West and the Brockway Campground are proposals that I feel will have the following regional impacts:

1. Sierra Pacific Industries and Mountainside Partners (AKA East/West) is the developer on both.

2. Both adjacent projects are located on the ridge overlooking Tahoe and Truckee, one mile west from Hwy 267 on Mt. Watson Rd.

3. Both projects propose massive development-MVW is 760 homes in a gated community plus 6.6 acres of commercial. The Brockway Campground is huge — 550 campsites/RV spaces/Yurts on approx. 100 acres. Yosemite, for example, is 1,169 square miles and has only 1,445 campsites.

4. 4,000+ people could occupy the iconic ridge between Tahoe and Truckee — approx. 1,900-plus for the gated community MVW, and up to 3,000 for the campground. For comparison, Yosemite Valley Family Campground’s 459 sites can accommodate 2,754 people.

5. Both projects will alter the rules: MVW lands will require rezoning from forest/conservation outside the Tahoe Basin, and the campground may require a special use inside the basin.

Why these two proposals are a terrible idea:

1. Destruction of an important wildlife corridor and natural setting.

2. Degradation of an important recreational open space.

3. Traffic congestion and gridlock.

4. Diminished air quality.

5. Permanently ruins community character and vision.

6. Dangerous precedent to justify further development along Tahoe’s iconic ridgelines.

7. Loss of nighttime dark skies.

8. Ground water loss.

9. Scenic loss.

This is a big picture issue that will result in the material modification of the Tahoe experience. Kings Beach is already in gridlock on peak days. How much can the Tahoe Basin absorb before you don’t recognize it anymore?

Isn’t trading development from the Martis Valley onto the ridge above Tahoe just moving Truckee problems to Tahoe, which has less capacity to handle them? Where is our watchdog, the TRPA? We love camping, but is that what this really is?

Ann Nichols

North Tahoe Preservation Alliance