My Turn: Getting railroaded in Tahoe? | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Getting railroaded in Tahoe?

Jerry Wotel
Tahoe Vista

On issues affecting the North Tahoe community, Placer County must conduct public meetings on the North or West shores if they sincerely want public participation.

To do otherwise makes me question their stated desire for citizen involvement. Take for example the Tahoe Vista Partners, LLC Affordable Housing and Interval Ownership Development Project; locally know as the Sandy Beach Development. The project proposes to remove the Sandy Beach Campground of approximately 29 summer-time trailers. Replacing this will be construction of 45 interval-owned units, a clubhouse/administration building, 10 deed-restricted affordable/employee housing units, on State Route 28 in Tahoe Vista.

The coverage will be greater than 60 percent and all but large-diameter trees (andgt;30 inches) will be removed. Needless to say, the community is very concerned with the scale and character of this project.

The final environmental impact report was issued on June 26, 2008 for a 10-day review with the comment period ending on July 7, 2008. Did Placer County notice that these 10 short days included one of the busiest holidays, the Fourth of July, when people have family and friends visiting and parties? Additionally a lot of people leave town and are not even here.

I and others received our notice of the availability of the final EIR about halfway through the review period. Yes, that is the period that includes the holiday.

The project review before the Placer County Planning Commission will be sent any public comments for their meeting on July 10, 2008. Even if I ignored the holiday ” and my friends ” and read the final EIR, and came up with questions, and mailed them on Monday, July 7, it is doubtful that they would be distributed to or reviewed by the Planning Commission before the meeting.

Where you may ask will the project decision meeting be held? How about in Auburn at 9:30 in the morning. Auburn is about 90 miles from Tahoe Vista. In these days of $4.60 per gallon gasoline prices, and no travel reimbursement for the public, should not the meeting be held in the community affected? Is this normal operating procedure for the county or an attempt to limit public input?

As I write this, I believe I can hear a railroad whistle in the distance; but no railroad tracks exist on the North Shore. How can that be? Am I being railroaded?

If you also believe local matters should be heard locally and more time given for Final EIR review, and the Planning Commission meeting be held in the community where the project is located, should immediately call at 530-745-3003, or email to cdraecs@placer.ca.gov, or write the Planning Commission at 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95602.