Opinion: Placer County supervisors put greed over public safety
We all know by now that the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to tentatively approve the Martis Valley West project, which will bring many years of construction, massive ridgeline sprawl, and further urbanization to the Lake Tahoe area.
Rather than taking a thoughtful and measured approach to evaluating the merits (or lack thereof) of the project, the supervisors, led by Kirk Uhler, who clearly has never met a project he didn’t like or an environmentalist he did, voted 4 to 1 in favor.
In doing so, they brushed aside hundreds of objections from the public and first responders like the California Highway Patrol and the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and, incredibly, their own Planning Commission, who voted to deny. This is an egregious example of putting greed over public safety.
Placer County stands to make millions from this project alone not to mention the many others in the pipeline. One thing Uhler mentioned during his comments was “per door” traffic mitigation fees, which are collected from new development to help build infrastructure needed as population increases.
That made me curious, and I looked up the fees for Lake Tahoe, which are $4,846 for each new dwelling. These fees alone will net Placer more than $3 million, and they are but one portion of the haul Placer stands to take from this project.
It’s easy to see why the supervisors, none of whom live in this area — save the lone dissenting vote, Jennifer Montgomery — thought “Hey, why not?” With thousands of potential units to be developed in and around the Basin, Placer stands to make many millions of dollars for many years to come.
Uhler’s district is Granite Bay, where residents have tried to recall him in the past due to concerns over massive development (read more here: http://bit.ly/2d5qgIA). His and the other supervisors’ reckless disregard for public safety, the environment and residents’ wishes make it time to call a halt to an out-of-control Board of Supervisors who see Tahoe as nothing more than a cash cow.
Are out-of-the-area officials like Uhler really the ones we want to have in charge of development where we live? Do we want them making the decisions as to how much traffic can be added to our choked roads, and how many more people can be stuffed into Martis Valley and Olympic Valley?
Tahoe is already over capacity, the roads are at gridlock, and things only stand to get worse under Placer County’s unlimited development stance. Maybe it’s time to start pushing for a different way of doing things or at least different people to do them.
And maybe it’s time to bring up the “M” word once again: MORATORIUM.
Coral Amende is an Incline Village resident.
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