LAKE TAHOE — Regarding Theresa May Duggan’s column on August 9, 2012, — it's all about perception. I too attended both presentations. I respect a difference of opinion but ask for a little less name calling and drama and more civility from others making public statements within published articles.
I have read the 5,000+ pages which include: the Regional Plan Update EIS, The Regional Transportation Plan EIS, Code of Ordinances, Goals and Policies, Threshold Evaluation, hundreds more pages from the Regional Plan Update committee meetings and associated studies referenced in the documentation and found the community presentation to be transparent and informative. The community meeting was open to anyone and meeting etiquette explained in detail. The facilitator requested questions be asked not just statements made to help better inform those in the audience of the issues. He respectfully asked the local jurisdiction and TRPA members to let the community members ask the questions and had to do so several times.
I'd like to thank all the participants (Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, North Tahoe Preservation Alliance, Friends of West Shore, North Tahoe Citizens Alliance, Tahoe Area Sierra Club, and Friends of Lake Tahoe) for volunteering their time and making the effort to provide a forum for interested community members to ask questions and voice their concerns about the Regional Plan Update.
The TRPA-sponsored meeting July 25 was also presented to TRPA Governing Board Members earlier in the day. Mr. Ronkin from Switzerland and Miles Rademan from Park City, Utah, were indeed lively and very entertaining. But what was lacking in either presentation is “real” applicability to Lake Tahoe. Mr. Ronkin's examples would literally have us moving mountains to install the proper road networks for connectivity, (a necessary step in a 12-step program for success) and embracing on street parking in town centers to insure the commercial zones provide ease of access for the tourist population or a new mixed use opportunity could be a parking structure above commercial (shops, restaurants, doctors offices, etc.) but must be located curbside for sustainability.
Mr. Rademan's suggestion that we be like Park City, Utah, and Vail, Colo., and provide free transit service to tourists is a must and a great idea, but will be at the expense of the local taxpayer.
Folks, this isn't Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, or Park City — it's Lake Tahoe “the Jewel of the Sierra.” We have a very unique environment with established protections within a fixed infrastructure on a loop road with little to no expansion capability.
Ellie Waller is a Tahoe Vista resident.