Douglas location hard to find
An ambitious, multi-faceted Douglas County project is one of the main reasons the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is looking into the issue of where multi-family residential development can occur.
The complex project has the developer searching for a place to build at least 70 affordable housing units in the Douglas County portion of Tahoe.
The project consists of razing a 187-unit apartment complex in Stateline, building a stormwater treatment system where the apartments are, constructing a 138-unit time-share in Round Hill and a 67-unit affordable housing complex off Kingsbury Grade, which will be the first income-restricted housing in the Douglas portion of the Tahoe Basin.
TRPA’s board approved the project in March. However, board members were concerned that 187 apartment units would be lost and only 67 replaced. Even though the soon-to-be-razed building isn’t considered affordable housing, many low-income families live there.
To alleviate the board’s concerns, developers agreed to try to find a place to build another 70 units somewhere in the county.
That’s where the problems come in, because there’s no practical place to do it.
The developers have an application in to extend the urban boundary for a parcel in Round Hill. Historically, however, the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the California Attorney General’s Office have adamantly opposed extending the urban boundary. In addition to that opposition, residents in that area are against it.
“I guess I have chalked up a victory with the affordable housing site (off Kingsbury Grade), but there are more challenges with this site if the League and the AG are going to fight me,” Lew Feldman, representative for the developer, said. “It’s one thing to deal with the simple NIMBY (not in my back yard) issues that go along with affordable housing, but it’s another thing to deal with major litigation with the state of California.”
Michael Roeser, a Round Hill resident, said it isn’t that residents disapprove of affordable housing, it’s that they don’t want development on the proposed parcel at all.
They are concerned about increased traffic, as well as scenic and environmental impacts.
“I believe that most of the Round Hill residents don’t want to see development of the type they’re proposing in that area,” he said. “It’s not the NIMBY stuff. They don’t want to see development there on virgin land.”
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