Letter to the editor: Regional Plan is not ready for prime time
Ryan Summerlin December 7, 2012
When it gets down to the pro-development home stretch you can always count on the Sierra Business Council to chime in with a sales pitch … Boulder Bay, Kings Beach Biomass plant, Homewood and now the Regional Plan Update. No surprise there and they will no doubt support the huge expansion of Squaw Valley.
Steve Fritsch, its CEO, in his Nov. 23 article supports the plan with more generalities. Apparently, the Regional Plan’s idea of “advancing real restoration” requires increasing allowed height to 197 feet in town centers within the high-density tourist district. Restoring the resources must involve increasing densities in hotel/fractional/timeshares a whopping 160 percent.
The plan’s proposal to allow development of approximately 270 acres of open space at Vail and Edgewood is an example of special-interest exploitation. Now, according to the 208 water quality management plan, there is another loophole that would allow open space acres of “comparable size” to be developed.
It is true that plenty of capital – $1.5 billion – has already been spent and yet the near shore is full of algae, there’s invasive species and more than 60 pipes are still spewing fouled water. The TRPA claims the new plan is “very little growth” with a reduction in traffic, yet it will solve our economic woes. Talk about magical thinking.
The California Tahoe Conservancy has begun selling off some of its “protected” parcels. The agency has been buying up lands to supposedly protect them, but in reality re-selling non-existent coverage and unused development rights.
TRPA should enforce storm water mitigations on private parcels, infiltrate the water before it spills into the Lake, stop rewarding developers who haven’t done BMPs, clean up the Keys, redevelop and repurpose before promoting additive development, go easy on the little guy by reducing fees, and stop applying big city social engineering to our tourist economy.