Our View: Judging a local issue from Sacramento
We often hear complaints about Tahoe decisions, and therefore the area’s future, being made outside of the area.
Usually it’s a a hearing in Auburn, or a TRPA meeting in South Lake Tahoe.
Soon a decision that will profoundly impact the future of Lake Tahoe will be made ” not by a quorum of locally elected representatives ” but by a single federal court judge in Sacramento.
The Tahoe transit center, given the green light by Placer County supervisors in December 2005, now rests in the hands of the courts.
Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt, in voting for the center over the chorus of disapproving residents in 2005, said the center was a “critical piece” of a larger puzzle.
That “critical piece” is expanding a transit system that is getting people out of their cars and into buses ” relieving the summer traffic that congests the Tahoe City area and West Shore.
If you’ve been following our local public transportation system recently, there is a theme. People are riding the buses in larger and larger numbers. And the transportation administrators are responding by expanding transportation options, including adding night hours and airport buses.
That expanding transportation network needs a home, and our local representatives got it right on this one, approving the transit center plan for the good of the community.
Visitors are taking the buses from the Reno-Tahoe airport, and more than 10,000 have ridden on the night buses that began running this last December.
Like all decisions involving the California Environmental Quality Control Act there are technicalities to attack. And the lawyers representing the lakeside homeowners of Tahoe Taverns and Tahoe Shores have hit on them all in their lawsuit.
The decision stands with the Sacramento judge, who will not vote on the merits of local decision-making or the benefit a transit center can be to North Tahoe.
He’ll vote on the how the agencies involved fulfilled the letter of CEQA law ” as he should.
Land use lawsuits have wrought both good and bad ” depending on which side of the fence you stand. We just hope this one comes out good for the majority of the community, therefore preparing the foundation for much-needed transit facilities on the North Shore.
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Kelley R. Carroll, a certified specialist, handles estate planning and will contests in our office with the help of our firm’s litigation department. I do not handle any, be forewarned.