Coounty reverses ruling on Ridge Pointe project |

Coounty reverses ruling on Ridge Pointe project

Jenifer Ragland

If it must be built, the Ridge Pointe would better serve Douglas County as a time-share complex, county commissioners concluded.

The board voted unanimously on Thursday to grant a special-use permit for the 26-unit time-share building, overturning a May 29 decision by the Douglas County Planning Commission.

That decision was appealed to the county board by Ridge Pointe Limited Partnerships – the developers of the project – who disagreed with the Planning Commission verdict.

Because he felt the Planning Commission’s conclusion was unfair, Don Miner, Tahoe’s representative on the board, recommended and the board approved refunding the $475 appeal fee paid by the applicant.

Despite passionate pleas from several neighboring residents who believe the Ridge Pointe will be a detriment to their community, commissioners said they had no choice but to approve the special-use permit.

“I came here because I am frustrated and angry,” said Jim Manning, a 10-year temporary resident of a unit directly below where the Ridge Pointe will be built. “The Ridge has demonstrated that they don’t care about other property owners. I’m beseeching you – don’t the concerns of us, the property owners, count for anything?”

But the board’s decision apparently was based on the lack of a better alternative rather than a dispute of the residents’ concerns. The developers currently have the right to construct a 26-unit building in that location with only 26 required parking spaces, due to a series of irreversable past decisions.

“I share the accolades given to the opponents – they have made a difference,” Miner said. “But the fact is we are here for the special-use permit, the owners do have the property rights, and we have very little leeway.”

In response to the concerns about parking that were brought up by Tahoe Village residents Larry Edgerton and Charlene Foley, Lex Adams, a partner in Ridge Pointe, Ltd., said the developers will add additional parking spaces in the immediate area.

“We just sent a letter to Tahoe Village offering to fund $5,000 to add eight common-ground parking spaces,” Adams said. “There will be 59 parking spaces in the immediate area, which is well over a two-to one-ratio.”

Because the issue before the board was for time share use of the building only, Adams focused on the benefits time-share properties can bring to communities.

He added that catering to the visitor rather than to permanent residents under a rental agreement means more immediate attention to the property by the developers, to ensure the customer is satisfied.

“It would not be in our best interest to create a project where our customers could not find a parking space,” Adams said.

The Ridge Pointe time-share resort is planned for 455 Tramway Drive in Tahoe Village – just outside the jurisdiction of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Developers have indicated their desire to move forward with construction and sale of the units as soon as possible.

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