Agency cancels Wednesday hearing on Boulder Bay |

Agency cancels Wednesday hearing on Boulder Bay

Matthew Renda

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. – The March meeting of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board has been canceled, officials confirmed Tuesday, less than 24 hours before the bistate committee was scheduled to possibly approve the high-profile Tahoe Biltmore redevelopment project.

Norma Santiago, chairwoman of the governing board, had a death in the family which would have prohibited her from attending the Wednesday, March 23 meeting at The Chateau in Incline Village, said TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan.

Also, California Gov. Jerry Brown recently removed the California Governor Appointee to the governing board, Ron Slaven, and has yet to announce a replacement, Regan said.

Slaven was appointed by former-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of 2010, shortly before leaving office. Regan said the agency is unsure when a replacement will be named, but the appointment should occur soon.

Officials also made the decision Tuesday because a large winter storm could hit the Lake Tahoe Basin on Wednesday.

“The storm caused us to worry that we might not get a full contingent of board members, which could preclude the board from establishing a quorum,” Regan said.

A quorum is the minimum number of members of a legislative body necessary to conduct business.

The entire meeting is canceled and postponed until April, Regan said.

The main action item on Wednesday’s governing board agenda related to the Biltmore redevelopment proposal by Boulder Bay.

The project’s preferred option is to construct a 275-room hotel with a 10,000 square-foot casino, 59 whole-ownership units, 14 on-site affordable housing units, 10 off-site affordable housing units, a spa and other amenities, while also addressing outdated environmental concerns at the Crystal Bay site.

The project remains controversial, with TRPA staff advocating the position the redevelopment will result in significant environmental improvements, especially relating to water quality improvements.

Critics continue to say the size and scale of the project is too large for the North Shore and will result in traffic impacts ultimately detrimental to the ecology of the lake.

Boulder Bay is the first of TRPA’s Community Enhancement Program projects to come before the governing board in quest of final approval, making the impending decision a precedent-setting event.

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