During 2006, the Vista Village (Cedar Grove) property owner (Alex Mourelatos) and his new developer, Pacific West Communities (PWC), invited the undersigned Tahoe Vista residents to participate in a series of meetings in order to solicit comments regarding our view of the impacts this development would make on the infrastructure and character of the community.
During the course of a year and several meetings we provided insight about: housing density based on the existing character of the area, balance of single-family homes and rentals, as well as transportation and environmental impacts, water and sewer system expansion, ingress/egress from the development, post office and road needs, recreation needs and impacts, and demographics of potential residents.
PWC was under no obligation to incorporate any of our suggestions in their design. Their proposed plan for Vista Village was presented at a community forum on Dec. 14, 2006. The proposed plan is completely theirs, and is not endorsed by the undersigned. There was no consensus among our resident group to support the currently proposed density, and there are still questions regarding the ingress/egress roads as planned, traffic flow and parking, and other issues that will hopefully be addressed in the EIR being prepared for this project.
Just to be clear, the consensus among the Tahoe Vista resident members of the focus group is for density of approximately 35 units with a mix of rentals and for-sale housing. As neighborhood residents, we are well aware of the current problems along National Avenue and acknowledge and support some level of development of affordable housing compatible with the community infrastructure, which may help lessen currently blighted and overcrowded conditions in the National Avenue corridor.
The Environmental Impact Report is scheduled for release for public review and comments in April 2007. We all should scrutinize the EIR carefully, and be involved in public comment opportunities.
The Villas at Harborside redevelopment project in Homewood is a beautifully designed and carefully planned project. It takes into consideration all the elements that would contribute to the success of such a project in our community.
Scenic Corridor ” These clusters of small homes provide several lake view corridors between them and the trees from the highway. This staggered arrangement allows for the trees to screen much of the view of the buildings from the lake, reminiscent of Old Tahoe.
Environment ” Because these homes are small, less than 1,800 square feet) their location can work around the older standing trees on the property. The ornamental fencing is tasteful and totally unobstructive.
Design ” The craftsman-style design of the clustered homes “randomly” suggests an old-fashioned village. The attention to quality and detail is evident when one viewers the tree existing homes that are part of the first phase and the four-star West Shore Cafe.
Parking ” Always at issue in any commercial area, parking in Homewood is everyone’s concern. The Villas meets and exceeds regulatory agency requirements for off-street parking. The marina requires its patrons to keep boat trailers racked or in storage, not on the street, and Villas will require the same of its homeowners.
Economic effect ” The Villas by nature of the shared ownership and rental program will infuse the local economy. The nature of this homeowner (and renter) is to utilize local resources when using their vacation home.
The NIMBY effect ” A handful of neighbors have voice some concerns, most of which have been graciously mitigated by Mr. Topol. My sense is that the most vocal critics of this project fall into the category of “no change or growth or development of any kind is good.” They have their lakefront or family vacation home and to “heck” with everyone else.
I urge community members to express their Support of this project to the TRPA. It will only serve to benefit the West Shore residents and businesses.