Letter: Affordable housing addressed years ago | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Affordable housing addressed years ago

To the editor:

Be careful of people with long memories … like Pembroke Gochnauer … and me.

The Stateline-Ski Run Planning Team met from February 1990 through February 1994. The Chair was Ed McCarthy. It consisted of another 12 or 13 caring, community-involved, talented people, including me. We met weekly, in the evening for three to five hours, and often, additional nights. If you need a job done right, ask a busy person. We were proud of our efforts … when we were done we thought we could visualize every new tree, every beautiful piece of every project. Boy, were we wrong!

I don’t know about my teammates, but I would not do it again, especially here.

One of the things we knew we had to address was low income housing. Our geographical area of concern was from Ski Run to the state line, and also the area we called the triangle, bordered by U.S. Highway 50, Ski Run and Pioneer Trail. This “triangle” was and is the home of many low-income families. Before we were done, one of our members was approached by a developer. The ideas presented to us were workable and would have been a great boon to that neighborhood. But guess what?

We were attended by two city staffers, and a Tahoe Regional Planning Agency representative. Also, at almost every meeting, a rep from “The League” (of what I won’t say). We were told in no uncertain terms that our mandate was the “allocation of commercial square footage,” and that we could add “art in public places” and that we could “mitigate” with “retention basins,” but we were not allowed to even think about “low income housing.”

And if you would like some really interesting reading, pull our final report on file at the city. The front page, which we all signed, and which we insisted on, explains much better than this offering, the hard work we did and the total frustration we experienced as a result. The kind help and leadership of Teri Jamin and Gary Marchio did a lot to “mitigate” our unhappiness, but their hands were tied too.

I for one am really tired of hearing about how TRPA “is changed.” How it is easier to go through the process now.” About how their “goals are different,” about how they “want to be user-friendly.”

TRPA needs to shut down for six months, go to work on every word of every line on every paragraph of their tomes of rules and regulations, and then let us all know where we are going and when and why.

And if you get the idea that I am not a leading “tree hugger,” you don’t know me! Every member of the team was and is, or they would not have been there.

Jean Widman-Persson


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