Donna R Mathews: Year-round parking lot potentially dangerous project |

Donna R Mathews: Year-round parking lot potentially dangerous project

I only learned this week that plans are being developed to create a year-round parking lot at the far west end of Donner Lake near the corner of Conifer and Cottonwood.

All the homeowners on Conifer are in Placer County and were not given any notice to voice alternative solutions to a fractional problem. Some annoyed homeowners of the newer subdivision around Pine Street, known as the Donner Lake Woods Homeowners Association, have experienced random backcountry skiers parking on their streets in the winter when conditions are right to ski the backside of Sugar Bowl. This can only be done via shuttling automobiles or walking out.

I believe the Association has promoted their influence with little input and elevated the notoriety of a ski run that is only used by those skilled and knowledgable enough when conditions are just right.

The mission statement of the Truckee Donner Land Trust does not support their involvement in this potentially dangerous project. To use this trail there is trespassing involved. How can the Land Trust become involved with a project that involves encouraging trespassing and use of a dangerous hillside prone to avalanches by those who can quickly be in over their heads? Promoting this use will only encourage the unskilled to attempt this run. Avalanche danger to people and property and increased backcountry rescues are only one part of the problem. Is zoning something that should be discussed? Also would the Kinder Morgan pipeline be inaccessible if cars were parked if access was needed?

To build a year-round public parking lot in a quiet residential corner with little public safety protection and monitoring, without any hiking trails, next to a very steep grade, only promotes visitors to roam and canvass the neighborhoods where many houses are vacant for long periods of time. The potential for vandalism will increase as those unfamiliar with the run scope for a way down through private property.

I strongly encourage you to deny this unacceptable proposal based on the many reasons explained here that are deleterious to health and safety.

Donna R Mathews


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