What are true costs for Tahoe Donner utility project? | SierraSun.com

What are true costs for Tahoe Donner utility project?

Sierra Sun Staff Reports

I believe the “My Turn” column of June 18 (“‘Slush fund’ is for Tahoe Donner, not the town”) misses the point of the Tahoe Donner TSSA-1 funds. The Town of Truckee is the custodian of the voluntary $90 tax each property owner pays for extra road maintenance. All the Town Council is asking is that Tahoe Donner property owners be polled to ask whether $135,000 be used for a study to determine the cost to each property owner for the installation of underground utilities. There are about 6,500 property owners in Tahoe Donner. At one of the latest Tahoe Donner Board meetings it was noted that there were 500 homeowner responses to a poll to see if the homeowners wanted such a use of funds. These property owners are the ones who subscribe to Tahoe Donner’s on-line service – not everyone does. Of the 500 responses, the figure given initially in the meeting was that only 60 people were against the use of these funds for the “study” purpose, then the figure was later changed to 80 property owners who were against the study. Several years ago, the estimated cost to each property owner was $17,000 to install underground utilities. Today, the cost will be considerably higher. I believe that one candidate for the Tahoe Donner Board of Directors suggested that the only way to really know the extent of work to be done is to have an engineering study which may cost upwards of $700,000. This study would outline the true cost to each homeowner. The question is, will the $135,000 be adequate, and therefore a “good” use of funds, and give the property owners a “true” picture of costs involved, or do we require a more complete study? We property owners do not want to be surprised at the completion of placing utilities underground if the project is eventually approved based on inadequate information and costs are considerably higher than projected. Chuck Reever Tahoe DonnerNo more gated communitiesAt 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center, Kings Beach, the Placer County Planning Commission will be voting on accepting the final environmental impact report for the proposed Siller Ranch subdivision in the Martis Valley.The DMB Highlands Group, the Lahontan developers, have two additional gated communities in the Placer Country approval process: Siller Ranch and Hopkins Ranch. Also on June 24, at 10:45 a.m., the commission will consider approval of a third gated Martis Valley subdivision, 475-acre Eaglewood, by another developer. If Placer County approves these projects as gated communities, developers will have successfully created nearly six square miles of gated communities extending from the Truckee town limits and state Route 267, ringing the Martis Lake Recreation Area, and ending at Northstar-at-Tahoe. This greatly restricts public access between the Martis Lake Recreation Area and the U.S. Forest Service lands on Sawtooth Ridge and completely eliminates public access along Martis Creek and through Moonlight Meadows.The Martis Valley Community Plan designated a public corridor for bicycle and pedestrian use along Schaffer Mill Road to Northstar. For some reason, the Siller Ranch plan that is under review has eliminated public use of this corridor. We encourage those who have enjoyed walking, skiing or bicycling through these lands and those who wish to protect access through this area for future generations, to express your concerns to the county planning commission and/or attend the meetings. Fax or e-mail to:Placer County Planning Commission11414 B Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 Phone: (800) 488-4308, ext. 3000Fax: 886-3080 E-mail: planning@placer.ca.gov Thank you for your support.Jerry and Nancy IvesTruckee