Controversy takes shape on the ridge |

Controversy takes shape on the ridge

Jenifer Ragland

To a developer it could be considered the best of both worlds.

The land – perched atop the scenic ridge of Tramway Drive – sits within the popular and marketable Lake Tahoe area, but outside the jurisdiction of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

One would assume the absence of an extra layer of regulatory government could facilitate the building process.

But in Tahoe, it’s never that easy.

A group of neighboring residents have spoken out against The Ridge Pointe project, a 26-unit, 47-foot-tall, time-share complex proposed for development at 455 Tramway.

Citing as primary concerns potential parking problems and disruption of their Carson Valley views, the property owners say they do not want to see any new construction in the already crowded area.

“I’d like to see more units up on market be sold before they build new ones. How many more time shares are we going to have up there?” asked Anne Huntley, co-owner of a condominium at 495 Tramway.

She said she does not want the project to move forward – plain and simple.

“I’m looking strictly from my own selfish viewpoint,” Huntley said. “I’ve had the property a number of years, I want to sell it, and I don’t think this will help. I think it’ll hurt me.”

The mostly out-of-town, time-share owners also complained they were not properly notified throughout the planning process, and therefore could not voice their opinions.

“We received no notice from the developer or Douglas County,” said John Lander, co-owner of the same property. “Law or common courtesy would require us to be briefed before we got to this point.”

Barbara Perkins, vice president of the Tahoe Lakeview Homeowners Association, reported that at least 14 owners are opposed to the project and were not informed of the April 24 meeting.

As a result, the Douglas County Planning Commission last Thursday continued a vote on a special-use permit for the project to May 29. Another hearing on the 47-foot variance – previously approved by Douglas County Commissioners – may be held, also due to noticing concerns.

Jack Sievers, a partner in the Ridge Pointe Limited Partnership venture that owns the land, said his only response to the complaints is that it will be up to the county to decide.

“That’s why there are hearings, so people can voice their opposition,” said Sievers, who has been a developer in the area for 37 years. “But we feel there is no reason to think we’re impacting the area negatively. We feel it’s a great benefit to this area.”

The proposal is for a five-level building that includes a 26-car parking garage, exercise area, entertainment room and 26 dwelling units.

Sievers said he hopes to break ground this summer and have the project completed by early 1998. Selling of the time-share units should start this winter, he said.

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