Our View: Martis Valley unsuitable for Placer center
Placer County officials have narrowed the list of possible locations for a new Tahoe-area government center. But one of the three surviving sites clearly is a non-starter.The proposed center would consolidate county services that are now scattered in different North Shore communities. County staff tossed out proposed locations in Squaw Valley, Kingswood, Tahoe Vista and Tahoe Citys West River Road. No doubt, local opposition in those areas played a part in the decision to look elsewhere.Still under consideration are the Trading Post property in Tahoe City, the S.K. Brown Investments property in Kings Beach and county-owned property in the Martis Valley.Placer County should do itself a favor and drop Martis Valley as a candidate.If the new government center is intended to benefit the public, forcing Tahoe Basin residents to drive over Brockway Summit to a Martis Valley facility would defeat the countys stated goal. As any local can testify, travel over the summit can be a challenge during winter months. Since the bulk of Placer County residents in the Tahoe area live on the North Shore, a Martis Valley government center would be inconvenient at best, or a colossal mistake at worst.And we havent even mentioned Placer County employees themselves. Wed venture a guess that the majority of county workers currently live in the Tahoe Basin not the Truckee Basin. Forcing customers and employees over Brockway to battle winter weather and ever-increasing fuel prices just doesnt make sense.Granted, the Placer County residents on the periphery of Truckees town limits Northstar, Lahontan and Ponderosa Palisades would have easy access to a Martis site. But other than the residents of Ponderosa Palisades, the majority of Placer residents on the north side of Brockway Summit are second homeowners and would only occasionally need walk-in county services. Placer County ownership of the Martis Valley property hardly justifies building the proposed government center out of the way where many constituents and workers would be forced to make a long commute or have difficulty reaching several months out of the year.
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