Heavenly releases master plan | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly releases master plan

Heavenly Mountain Resort appears poised to get most of what it asked for in a 2003 proposal to amend its master plan to replace lifts, add a restaurant and build an amphitheater.

The agencies that will make a decision on the improvements released an environmental impact report Wednesday that will be open for public comment until July 17.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency have indicated they prefer a plan with a smaller amphitheater and that would cut fewer trees to make a new highspeed lift called North Bowl.

Aside from these changes, the preferred plan includes all the components of Heavenly’s proposal, including a new lodge called Powderbowl, five new ski trails, expanded cross country trails and several stream restoration projects.

Heavenly first proposed changes to its 1996 master plan in 2003 that included upgrading several lifts, adding a 2,500-seat amphitheater and a restaurant. Public comments showed concern for old-growth trees and wildlife and suggested the Forest Service conduct an environmental impact report.

Heavenly operates on publicly owned land managed by the Forest Service. The TRPA is involved because it has regulatory authority over development changes in the Lake Tahoe Basin that could impact the environment, including noise, wildlife and air pollution from increased traffic.

The report outlines five alternatives, one of which includes making no changes at the resort, another that outlines Heavenly’s proposals, and another which outlines the preferred plan.

Heavenly CEO Blaise Carrig said their goal is to improve the resort experience.

“We didn’t think the ’96 master plan did that, particularly in terms of lifts and restaurants,” Carrig said.

Tahoe’s Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron issued a statement which said her preferred alternative integrates public concerns and meets the “purpose and need for the project.”

The Forest Service anticipates a final decision will be completed this fall.

Apparently the public does not have a right to know how much money the ski resort generates for the U.S. Treasury through its operations on publicly-owned land.

“Revenue from a private business company is not releasable information,” said the Forest Service’s Mike Guarino, who is in charge of Heavenly’s permit.

Mail comments to:

Terri Marceron, Forest Supervisor, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Attn: Heavenly DEIS

35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Fax: (530) 543-2693; or e-mail comments-pacificsouthwest-ltbmu@fs.fed.us

Review the plan at:

n Forest Service offices 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe

n TRPA offices at 128 Market Street, Stateline

n El Dorado County Planning at 2850 Fairlane Court, Building C, Placerville

n El Dorado County public libraries: 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, and 345 Fair Lane, Placerville

n Alpine County Planning 17300 Highway 89, Markleeville

n Online at http://www.trpa.org or http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects

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