One more hurdle |

One more hurdle

Axie Navas
Special to the TribuneA rendering of the proposed Edgewood Tahoe Lodge's exterior with the pool terrace.

Edgewood Companies’ Edgewood Tahoe Lodge and Golf Course realignment project will reach one of possibly many finish lines on Thursday when its final environmental impact statement goes before the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board.

A project that has been in the works since 2008 when Edgewood first submitted the proposal to the TRPA could take a major step forward depending on the governing board’s decision, but Vice President of Real Estate Patrick Rhamey said there’s still a long way to go before the 154-room lodge would open.

For the EIS to pass this hurdle, the governing board must certify the statement, adopt the proposed height amendement and finally approve the project. If those motions are passed, the company will move into the permitting phase and compile a final construction document. Rhamey estimates that ground work won’t begin until fall of next year, with actual construction on the hotel tentatively slated for 2014.

The project inlcudes realigning three holes on the golf course, a main lodge with a restaurant, a spa, a parking structure, 40 multiple-bedroom units, new public beach access and a bike path.

“We’re excited, but we have a lot of permitting to do. The project has been well received. It’s both what the TRPA and the conservation groups would like to see and there’s also self-interest in the health of the lake. Lake Tahoe is very important to the company,” Rhamey said.

According to Rhamey and TRPA Public Information Officer Kristi Boosman, the project will have some important water-quality improvement impacts. By redeveloping and upgrading three tributaries on the golf course, the company will be able to keep 500,000 pounds of sediment from entering Lake Tahoe each year. There will also be 4 new acres of restored wetland on the property, according to Rhamey.

“The application has been exemplary. They worked with the League, with the Sierra Club – everyone’s seeing a benefit with this project,” TRPA Senior Planner Theresa Avance said.

For the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Executive Director Darcie Goodman-Collins, overall the project is a good one, but she pointed out one drawback.

“It includes many environmental improvements, such as creek and wetland restoration, that directly benefit water quality. Opening public beach access is also a positive,” Goodman-Collins wrote in an email.

“However, we do see a drawback in that this project will be built outside the urban boundary on land that was previously designated for recreational use, which does not follow the parameters of ideal redevelopment at Tahoe,” she wrote.

According to Goodman-Collins, after discussions about the issue, the developer increased its land retirement to take into account the League’s feedback.

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