My Turn: Being frank and honest on the Summit | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Being frank and honest on the Summit

The My Turn guest column piece by the co-owner of Royal Gorge on Aug. 20, 2007, “‘Just say no’ harms environmental and community groups” contains a number of truths in shadows; half truths half lit; distortions; outright misleading statements and apparent falsehoods.

These deserve a reposite from us the Summit property owners and lovers of our unique wild mountain valleys. To wit: Royal Gorge has already submitted a development application to Placer County, which was rejected out of hand for lack of required detail.

As far as “civilized discourse,” we the affected parties have indeed had numerous formal and informal meetings with Royal Gorge. The Summit at the Summit meeting of all representative groups last December is a good example. Finally at the July 13 water board meeting, they, offended by our questions, withdrew from further dissemination until they submit their second development application.



“Our property (the author’s term) is” is frequently mentioned presumably, to invoke the right of private property to do as it wishes, but the other rights of the public, “our environment,” are downplayed. We have to share both.

The almost complete lack of adequate water to supply the 1,100 new units plus hotel and commercial enterprises escaped notice in the My Turn polemic. Donner Summit polls of people directly affected have reflected something like a 95 percent opposition to the development as proposed. We are strongly upbraided for getting ready before the assault (remember Pearl Harbor). Should we have rested supine to accept what we knew was coming?



Concessions? There never was a real plan for a golf course since it is impossible to build one in this area. Dropping it was intended, we think, to be a sop to local dwellers.

The setting aside of 70 percent of the land for open space, of course, includes all the vertical areas which are unbuildable. The “set aside” does not at present mean giving title to a land trust but is rather a revokable “promise” subject to the whim of the next buy out.

We suggest that the input accepted has been minimal in actual fact. Unmentioned is the destruction of our beautiful lakes by the proposal to raise the dam (flooding many) and then dredging the lakes to deepen them and lastly to pump water down to three feet below existing levels leaving a bathtub ring of muck for our enjoyment.

Unmentioned also is the traffic situation and the entrapment of hundreds of individuals in case of fire, not to mention the destruction of the tranquility of this area by hundreds of more vehicles on our narrow Donner Summit Road.

Lastly, who are these Donner Summit residents who contact them about whether we represent their interest? We have not met them! Please be frank and honest so that people can in actual fact have some input to your questionable plans.


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