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January 10, 2013
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Guest Column: Do your homework on the Canyon Springs DEIR

TRUCKEE, Calif. - After a 19-month hiatus, review and comment on the DEIR on the proposed Canyon Springs development (previously aka Tahoe-Boca) has commenced.

This document is available at our local library, town of Truckee website, and you can obtain a CD copy of the report as well. Public comment deadline is March 1, 2013. Written comments will only be responded to in the Final EIR. Additional questions should be directed to Denyelle Nishimori, Senior Planner at the Community Development Department with the town at 530-582-2934 or dnishimori@townoftruckee.com.

Comments that reflect an "opinion" about this project will not be addressed. For example, don't say "this project will increase traffic." Instead, say, "this project will increase traffic during construction at Glenshire Drive." Comments that state, "I don't like this project" typically result in a response of "Comment Noted."

Comments that are backed by factual support lead to changes in the EIR and in this project, and should be written in a manner that requires lead agencies to respond. After participating in the EIR process, if we as citizens still have concerns or issues, there are other options.

There is value to having multiple citizens comments. If one is generally not worried about this project, then consider that it may be built in ways that negatively affect you, your home, your kids, your neighborhood, the environment, wildlife, etc. This is our opportunity to address any concerns.

If one doesn't think factual comments have any effect, then consider that the only comments that are sure not to have any effect are the ones we don't write. If we do not comment now, we forgo any recourse to comment in the future if there were inadequacies that were not addressed.

I have followed potential development on this site, east of Truckee, since 1986. We would take the time to meet in a neighbor's home, gather information on the development and figure out a way to dispute it. Those meetings kept all informed. Since 2003, meetings have been few and far between. I agree, we are in need of a meeting now, and could certainly be held at our local Glenshire School, and Glenshire Clubhouse. How about a potluck?

Disruption of the placidity of the environment has always been a key issue. The current acreage for sale (excluding this proposed project) off Glenshire Drive encompasses more than 300 acres, yet to be developed. On top of this, the area surrounding the proposed development is full of existing, for-sale lots and other undeveloped areas, such as Sierra Bluffs, Elkhorn, Juniper Creek Hills, The Meadows, Cambridge and more.

The last traffic volume study done on the area was 2006. The findings of the DEIR of April 24, 2007, showed the potential for a significant impact on Glenshire Drive/Donner Pass Road. Without the Canyon Springs project as proposed at the time, it was estimated that intersection could degrade to an unacceptable level of service. Realignment of this intersection was considered, thereby eliminating the failing left-turn.

Adequate evaluation of this project (plus existing undeveloped areas) is needed. I will not let my lack of expertise prevent me from trying to comment on the environmental impacts now and in the future.

Karen LaFarge-Unrein is a Truckee resident.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 10, 2013 06:49PM Published Jan 10, 2013 06:49PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.