Cheri Ross
Special to the Bonanza

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July 30, 2012
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Guest Column: Upper Tyner residents alarmed at potential trails plan

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — I read with interest your article of July 26, “Vision of Incline Village’s Trails Comes into Focus.” While I appreciate your subtitle (“Some concerned if plan is a good thing for the community”), it fails to capture the extent and force of the serious opposition to Chuck Greene’s trail plan from residents of the areas that would be affected.

Your article lists a few “concerns” about the proposed plan, enumerated by Mr. Greene:

• potential for increased traffic and parked cars on quiet neighborhood streets;

• potential for more littering and noise pollution due to increased vehicle and foot traffic;

• and potential emergency danger if vehicles are hindering access to fire service roads.

I write as one of the Upper Tyner residents whose homes, property values, neighborhood safety and quiet would be affected by Mr. Greene’s plan. We are not simply “concerned.” We are alarmed by the prospect of a sharp increase of traffic on Tyner and adjoining streets as visitors to the area are lured to a new system of hiking and mountain bike trails planned by Mr. Greene. Many of the trails Mr. Greene hopes to deploy for his scheme are fire trails, which should not be clogged for recreational use. In the event of wildfire, disastrous enough, the situation of residents and homeowners would be exacerbated by more traffic and parked cars on Upper Tyner, where a challenging evacuation situation already exists. There is only one way in and out for residents of this area in case of emergency.

We Upper Tyner residents are troubled that the proposed plan does not take into account the environmental sensitivity of the area, amply documented in the US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit draft Forest Plan (currently under public review). Extensive evidence collected by the Forest Service has led to their recommendation for no further trail development in the area. This evidence suggests that such development would further stress the area, endangering both the unique natural environment and its wildlife.

We Upper Tyner residents are disturbed by the suggestion that our serene and quiet neighborhoods should be advertised and promoted for recreational access. Mr. Greene and his colleague in this plan, Mark Kimbrough, have been quite successful in their efforts to create and promote the Tahoe Rim Trail (Mr. Kimbrough as TRT Executive Director, Mr. Greene as TRT board member); the TRT, according to its advertising, enjoys more than 10,000 visitors per year. If Mr. Greene and Mr. Kimbrough’s plan to develop and promote the trails in the Upper Tyner area is even fractionally as successful, it means a sharp uptick in the number of visitors wandering in our neighborhoods. We did not purchase homes in this area with this expectation, but we do expect a negative impact on our property values if the Greene-Kimbrough plan becomes a reality.

We Upper Tyner residents are hesitant when Mr. Greene presents his plan as a neighborhood enhancement in the style of the Tahoe Donner network of trails and bike paths. He does not seem to recognize the difference between our neighborhoods and the Tahoe Donner planned development, with its steady stream of homeowner association dues to provide for maintenance of their recreational facilities. We foresee, should the grand Greene-Kimbrough plan of linking trails come to pass, no provision to meet the expense of ongoing trail maintenance and security, visitor maps, litter removal, or any of the other necessities demanded by an extensive recreational area.

Finally, we Upper Tyner residents are dismayed that Mr. Greene has pursued work on his trail plan without consultation with us and without taking adequate account of the serious issues we have repeatedly brought to his attention. The public opposition to his plan is stated in a petition circulating in potentially affected neighborhoods. The number of signatures on this petition is already 150, and we expect many more by the time the Greene-Kimbrough plan is presented to the IVGID Board.

We remain hopeful that the IVGID Board will fulfill its charter “to preserve or enhance the general health, safety and welfare of the community” by listening to the objections of homeowners in the areas threatened by the Greene-Kimbrough proposal and by acting to stop the proposed development of trails on Upper Tyner.

— Cheri Ross has been an Incline Village homeowner since 2000.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 30, 2012 05:24PM Published Jul 30, 2012 05:23PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.