Differing views about the Meyers Area Plan broke out at times during a standing-room-only workshop Thursday at Lake Valley Fire Department.
People packed into the room for a meeting organized by Jennifer Quashnick and other Meyers residents who oppose parts of the plan, including its proposed zoning and land use designations and density and height restrictions.
Fliers for the workshop stated, “There is a new plan for Meyers, and it’s not good.”
Asked about the assessment, Quashnick and others acknowledged a volunteer Meyers Community Advisory Council has put in a lot of work into the plan and that there is “a lot of good stuff” in it.
But the nearly 150-page plan is not supported by all of the advisory council members who have worked on it or by much of the community and would allow for development on too large of a scale for Meyers, they argued.
“Meyers will change under this policy. Some good things, and some things we might not like,” said Joe Cardinale. He was referring to larger, denser development and a big resort envisioned as a “catalyst project” that is “waiting to come in and take over our community.”
Some people agreed with the assessment. Advisory council member John Garofalos said he thinks aspects of the plan need to be toned down.
Others seemed less sure. One man said the maligned “catalyst project” was a grant-funded conceptual planning exercise, not an actual project to go along with the plan’s approval, echoing past statements by El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago.
Others argued the plan would allow such large developments that are “out of scale” with the surrounding community.
Another man asked Quashnick to disclose her affiliation to the Sierra Club, a group suing TRPA to get its Regional Plan Update and new area plan framework thrown out in court for not doing enough to protect the environment.
Some people criticized El Dorado County and TRPA for a lack of public notification and engagement in a planning process going on for more than a year. Others seemed to question whether they were getting the full story at a workshop about the plan without their input.
Santiago attended the workshop. In her assessment, the draft area plan is more restrictive than the 1993 community plan now in effect for the Meyers area.
Santiago encouraged people to read the draft area plan and offer comments before Feb. 21 for a Feb. 26 meeting for the advisory council to go over the changes people want made.
She also proposed a community meeting March 19 with a debate and possibly even some sort of public vote on the plan.
The plan still must go before the El Dorado County planning commission and county supervisors, as well as the Regional Plan Implementation Committee and Governing Board of Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Santiago said.
If nothing else, supporters and opponents of the plan at least seem to agree on one thing: Meyers residents need to read the area plan, see if it fits their vision for the community and get involved if they haven’t already.