Glenbrook pier proposal put off by agency |

Glenbrook pier proposal put off by agency

Self criticism and apologies poured from some Tahoe Regional Planning Agency boardmembers Wednesday as they mulled over the way the board has handled a controversial proposal to build a private pier in Glenbrook Bay.

“I have to apologize because I let the process get to what it was,” Chairman Larry Sevison said. “I apologize to anyone who felt they didn’t get treated fairly in this.”

Apologies started flowing after Jerome Waldie, a California governing board appointee, admitted that he felt “uncomfortable” with the August meeting, where the board attempted to find middle ground between the opposing parties in the pier proposal.

The board attempted to mediate a longstanding dispute between Glenbrook property owners Larry Ruvo, Harvey Whittemore and Don Carano, who propose to build a pier in the pristine bay, and the 228-member Glenbrook Homeowners Association, the most vocal enemy of the trio’s plan.

When the project came to the governing board for review in August, former boardmember Terry Giles suggested that the parties work toward a compromise. While the regular meeting continued at one end of the room, Giles and Nevada boardmember Dean Heller, along with TRPA legal counsel, met in the back of the room with the opposing parties, trying to facilitate a solution.

The public comment that was scheduled for the hearing was scrapped and the item was continued to allow more time for the parties to negotiate an alternative.

Two months later, no conclusion has been reached and the item is back on the agenda as it was originally proposed.

Ron Zumbrun, an attorney representing the Glenbrook Preservation Association, said without the public comment session his nonprofit group, which also opposes the pier project, has been left out of the process.

“This is the second time the public has been here for the hearings – you can’t have the public stretched out like that,” Zumbrun said. “When items are scheduled, they should be dealt with.”

In a 9-4 vote, the board delayed the hearing until the December meeting.

Boardmember Don Miner, representing Douglas County, voted against the continuation and joined Sevison in the self criticism.

“I think we need to be prepared to discuss it in December, either up or down,” Miner said. “We need to get on with life.”

He questioned whether the August meeting, with its boardmember mediation, met Nevada’s open meeting law.

Boardmembers Jerome Waldie, Drake DeLanoy and Hal Cole also second-guessed the board’s behavior.

In defense, boardmember Kay Bennett, Carson City representative, said allowing more time could result in a win-win situation, where all parties agree.

Still, even if the two groups settle, the TRPA will have to review any new construction.

“There can’t be an expectation that the board is going to adopt whatever resolution there is,” TRPA legal counsel John Marshall said.

The board also has a related issue on the table – an amendment that calls for a ban on pier building in the area of the proposed project. That item has been continued with the project review to December.

Attorneys representing both property owner groups agreed to the extension.

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