Housing project opposed
Zephyr Heights resident Anna Lang is leading a crusade against affordable housing in her front yard.
Lang, joined by dozens of other land owners, is opposed to apartments that house multiple families on an eight-acre lot that sat empty for several years across U.S. Highway 50 from the Presbyterian Conference Center.
“When we bought our property the lot was zoned for a single-family dwelling and there were no buildings on it,” Lang said. “We paid one-third of the value of our home for the view. Now that view will be gone and our property values will go down.”
Falcon Capital co-owner Randy Lane disagrees with Lang’s perception of the situation. Lane said there will be no multifamily apartments on the property as many neighbors fear.
Lane is hoping to build about 30 small, free-standing, single family, two-story homes.
He first has to gain approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board to allow for multiple-family housing. Even if land is developed for single-family use, Lane said TRPA regulations require the property to be zoned for multiple families.
Lane said he could build either type of housing on the land if he gets zoning approval, but said his goal is to provide low-cost houses to first-time, single-family homeowners.
“This site bodes well for affordable housing. We’re not going to get the new zoning and then build apartments. We would deed restrict or do whatever to make sure of that,” Lane said. “We’re not trying to go in and pull a fast one. It’s going to be very nice, and I don’t think it’s going to be a detriment to property owners’ values.”
Still Lang and other residents like three-year Zephyr Heights homeowner Debby Everett are organizing a protest of the zoning change Wednesday at the TRPA advisory commission.
“Zephyr Heights is very treacherous. People have been trying to get a stop light put in for years and no one will do anything about it,” Everett said. “Yet when it involves this multifamily housing it’s no problem.”
In addition to her scenic concerns, Lang said she’s worried the project could add noise, traffic and decreased water pressure.
Lane said the impacts will be limited, with the small amount of housing built hundreds of feet from other property lines.
If the TRPA planning commission and Governing Board approve the zoning change, Lane said he hopes to submit a project application to the agency by the end of the summer and begin construction next year.
Lane’s proposed single-family houses would sell for around $175,000, of which he said homeowners could receive about $10,000 from Nevada to help with down payments as part of a first-time home buyers program.
The houses would serve as a part of the mitigation required by TRPA when Falcon Capital decided to tear down the low-cost Lake Park Apartments on Kahle Drive.
Lane said the agency required the company to construct 134 affordable housing units for the people who were displaced by the Lake Park demolition.
Lane said 24 apartments of a 64-unit complex will be ready for residents in the next couple of weeks.
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