Measure Y doesn’t affect Tahoe projects |

Measure Y doesn’t affect Tahoe projects

Rick Chandler

Measure Y proponents have successfully thrown a monkey wrench into two major development projects on the west slope of El Dorado County, which begs the question – could it happen at South Lake Tahoe?

Measure Y is the initiative which El Dorado County voters approved by a large margin in November, mandating that developers account for all costs connected to their projects. Specific projects that have ground to a halt due to pending litigation are the large Missouri Flat commercial development just outside of Placerville, and the proposed 244-home Silver Springs subdivision near Green Valley Road in Shingle Springs.

In essence, the lawsuits – a judge will make a ruling on both by May 15 – contend that El Dorado County is ignoring Measure Y, and did not have the authority to approve the development projects.

The suits are not unexpected, coming as they did one month after a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled that El Dorado County’s General Plan was not valid.

But while lawyers wrangle over the fate of development on the west slope, what of South Lake Tahoe’s grandiose redevelopment plans? After all, South Shore is also part of El Dorado County, and Measure Y should have the same effect here that it does in Placerville. Right?

“Not at all,” said Bill Center, a former El Dorado County supervisor and Measure Y supporter. “Measure Y does not affect anything within city limits. It only affects unincorporated areas of the county.

“The focus so far, and the specific aim of the lawsuits, is on Missouri Flat and Silver Springs.”

El Dorado County Counsel Lou Green, however, has another take on the matter.

“The current lawsuits are specific to projects down here (near Placerville),” he said. “But the eventual interpretations might well impact other areas of the county. The language of Measure Y allows for no exceptions.”

Measure Y proponents are trying to insure that no county tax dollars will be used to further development projects. One example is the Headington Road extension near Missouri Flat Road. Developers claim that the county should assume a portion of the cost of the $3 million project, because the eventual tax revenue connected to the nearby Sundance Plaza development would benefit everyone.

No way, say the Measure Y people, who say that the voters have made it very clear that developers should shoulder the entire load.

But now consider South Lake Tahoe, where major redevelopment efforts such as the Park Avenue Project and the related Heavenly Valley gondola project are currently in the works. Should South Shore residents be afraid that Measure Y would somehow stop these projects as well?

“I don’t believe Measure Y is going to affect this end of the county,” said South Lake Tahoe City Manager Duane Wallace. “South Lake Tahoe has never been effected by the county’s General Plan; that’s what the TRPA is for. The county figures there is so much planning in Tahoe already, why even try.”

Wallace is concerned, however, about the confusion on the west slope.

“It concerns me when people try to legislate through the ballot box,” he said, referring to Measure Y. “Initiatives have always been poor planning tools; it’s like using a meat cleaver to perform brain surgery.

“I think it’s time for people to sit down and work this thing out. With Dave Solaro now on the board, it will help move the process along and get a dialogue going.”

Although South Lake Tahoe does not seem to be effected by Measure Y concerns, Meyers and Tahoe Paradise conceivably could be.

“If someone wanted to put in a major subdivision in Meyers, I could see where Measure Y could come into play,” Center said. “But you’d have to be pretty nuts to do that in the first place.”

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