Guest column: City appears ready to approve SnowGlobe agreement despite opposition (opinion)
SnowGlobe remains a popular and divisive event in South Lake Tahoe.
It brings thousands of visitors during our busiest holiday and drives room rates through the ceiling.
It also is now proven to violate El Dorado County noise regulations, which the county refuses to enforce. It violates the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan noise regulations which the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency refuses to enforce. It violates the requirements of the Temporary Activity Permit, which both the city and TRPA are working to revise.
These violations have been going on for eight years and will likely continue for the foreseeable future given the city’s contract renewal with SnowGlobe. As always, the rules do not apply to those who write them and they suffer no penalty for violating them.
Why should we care? Why don’t residents just leave their homes if they don’t like it?
These are common refrains those living near the event keep hearing. The truth is that most of those living nearest this event can’t just leave their homes for this private event and asking them to do so is simply wrong.
Within 600 feet of the stage there are homes with pets and kids, retirees and working families. They bought their piece of Tahoe in a formerly quiet neighborhood that had multiple regulations citing it would remain quiet and peaceful.
If you do not understand that this event should not take place where it does, you have no respect for those who live near this event. The city, county and the TRPA do not respect residents.
After two years of writing letters to the city and the TRPA they have only recently even recognized their utter failure to know or follow their own regulations.
For now, we are told the event will end at 10 p.m. each night while SnowGlobe continues to advertise an event that is publicly stated as ending at 1 a.m. (we are being lied too).
The noise limits remain an utter farce (airports and food trucks have stricter regulations), the grass remains dead and the Community Play Fields were closed for months.
We have submitted 200 signatures asking for change, highlighted the regulations that are not being followed and even called potential venues to relocate this event, and yet little has changed.
The new contract includes no defined hours of operation, no mechanism to reduce the sound and the same noise requirements established the second year of the event. Plainly, no amount of reason can change the views of our City Leaders.
I encourage residents to remember these votes. The last election saw three council members lose their seats. Those who remain and are up for reelection need to be shown the door.
In my experience, only Tammy Wallace has responded to resident complaints reliably. Cody Bass appears to support this event but seems to listen in other areas. Devin Middlebrook appear to want more concerts closer to these same neighborhoods. Jason Collin appears to remain a proxy for Nevada interests and has sued to prevent voters from having a say. Brooke Laine has kept her cards hidden but appears to support this event.
Bring forward the Official Rubber Stamp — the city is going to have SnowGlobe, no matter what.
Scott Ramirez is a South Lake Tahoe resident and member of the No Globe Alliance, a group of residents organized to relocate, modify or eliminate SnowGlobe.