My Turn: The community is compromising on Vista Village project
I’m a Tahoe Vista resident living in the Estates subdivision, also employed by the USPS at the Tahoe Vista Post Office located on National Avenue. The Vista Village project affects both my personal and professional life, by changing the aesthetics, traffic, density, infrastructure needs and safety issues within the community.
Please explain to me how “traffic” can be mitigated? Paying a fee is not mitigation. Developing a bike path is not mitigation, it’s already a Community Plan requirement.
There are over 500 postal customers at the Tahoe Vista Post Office to date and a waiting list of 50-plus. The traffic to and from the Vista Village project is estimated at 600-plus vehicle miles traveled per day ( 200 cars x 3 trips a day) will disrupt the current postal patrons ability to utilize the post office, which already has major safety concerns. Unfortunately, the data obtained from the sheriff and/or police is only part of the picture; there are more unrecorded accidents than reported ones at the post office. Additionally any travel up and down National Avenue will be made more difficult.
I participated in a 2006 focus group comprised of community members as well as the land owner, Alex Mourelatos, the developer Pacific West Communities, WHATT representatives, TRPA North Shore liaison Jeff Cowen and Placer County’s Joanne Auerbach. The group discussed many options and solutions to the challenge of meeting community character and a reasonable return of investment for the developer. We met several times over the course of the year to explore options and felt our ideas were welcomed by the owner and developer. –
I was disappointed there were not other options in the EIR to review. Would the developer clarify why an option for 40-50 units was not evaluated as an alternative as requested by the community members? The group was also in favor of a higher percentage of for sale units. We believe a 40-50 unit option would be more enthusiastically embraced and possibly supported by many members of the community as it is a better fit to the existing character and density of the surrounding neighborhood.
We are not against affordable housing. We are supportive of a smaller project. Smaller projects throughout all the North Shore communities (Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Lake Forest, Tahoe City, Tahoma, Homewood, etc.)
I might also ask: where is the “community” in “community plan”? The Tahoe Vista Community Plan (TVCP) and other community plans, are expiring this year and are required to be updated in the next few years concurrent with the Pathway process.
Will the agencies responsible for the update process, be including citizen groups as part of that update and how will an interim project like Vista Village be addressed ?
Why is Alternative D exempt from annexation into the TVCP ? The Community Plan is not just about how much coverage is allowed it includes associated thresholds, so stating it isn’t necessary to annex because the project does not exceed 30 percent is unacceptable to the community members.
Current zoning for this parcel is specified for 2 units on 12.2 acres, which is consistent with the today’s community complexion. The PAS 021 will also need to be amended. Will the community be enlisted for comment ?
The community is compromising. Many do not want this project at all. Are the developer and landowner amendable to a smaller project as their compromise? If not, why?
Less units, means less mitigation and less cumulative impacts.
There are two upcoming meetings, May 9 with the TRPA Advisory Council at their Stateline offices, 128 Market St. at 9:30 a.m., and the second meeting May 23 with the TRPA Governing Board at the Kings Beach Conference Center at 9:30 a.m.
I encourage those community members attending meetings but choose not to speak, to prepare and submit your thoughts as they are just as important as our public comments. Comments need to be submitted no later than June 1. Please send to Mike Cavanaugh at PO Box 5310, Stateline, NV 89449 or email Mike @ mcavanaugh @trpa.org.
Ellie Waller is a Tahoe Vista resident.
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