Pier proposal at Glenbrook raises residents ire
Factioned Glenbrook property owners, and the lawyers representing them, met Friday with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to hash out their differences concerning a proposed construction ban on new piers in Glenbrook Bay.
The two hour meeting was punctuated with emotional outbursts, a measure of confusion and a fair amount of neighborly conviviality.
The central issue was Glenbrook property owner Bob Daiss’ recent application to the TRPA for an amendment of the Plan Area Statement. Backed by the Homeowners Association, Daiss requested a change in Plan wording, effectively prohibiting construction of new piers along the bay.
Gary Midkiff, representing the Homeowners Association, proposed an additional change to the amendment application, limiting the pier-restriction to the Sandy Beach area and leaving out Dead Man’s Point and Yellow Jacket Point.
“Our clients feel there is no need for additional piers,” Midkiff said. “They feel that the communal Homeowners pier meets everyone’s needs.”
But the Homeowners Association only represents a select group of Glenbrook residents – other parties disagreed to the amendment with equal vehemence.
“My understanding of the dispute is that the folks who filed for the amendment have a dispute with their neighbors that has nothing to do with the north and south parts of Glenbrook,” said Deborah Palmer, an attorney representing Roger and Mariann Cole, who live on Yellow Jacket. “They’re trying to make everyone suffer for it. Pier proposals should be reviewed on an individual basis. This is a neighbor dispute which has been blown way out of proportion. It’s ridiculous.”
The dispute began with plans by Harvey Whittemore and Larry Ruvo, partners who purchased the Glenbrook Golf Course for $6 million in 1997, to build a new pier in the Bay.
“It appears that the (Plan Area Statement) is aimed primarily at Mr. Ruvo and myself,” Whittemore said. “It is really important that we ask why TRPA is being asked to designate this spot for no new piers.
“The Glenbrook Shore Zone Plan anticipates new piers – so if we’re using that as a guide, how can we not allow for new piers? It’s completely inconsistent,” Whittemore added.
The 1984 Shore Zone Plan, although not adopted by the TPRA governing board, constitutes a plan, or recommendations, by the Homeowners association for the use of Glenbrook property. It stipulates that no new piers should be built, but also mentions that construction of private piers should be kept to a minimum and be restricted to special needs.
“This has served as a guideline for our agency in the past,” said Gaby Barrett, TRPA’s chief of long-range planning. “And when we review this permit we will look at this document to see if it’s consistent.”
As far as TRPA was concerned, the meeting was successful in bringing all the issues to the table, but not in resolving them.
“I think if you’re going to solve any of this, maybe you don’t need TRPA to do it but an outside facilitator,” Barrett concluded. “We had an application submitted and felt there were issues which we weren’t aware of – but clearly we won’t solve these issues today.”
Pending a clearer understanding of the issues, the Plan Area Statement amendment is scheduled to go before the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission April 14, and the Governing Board, April 28. Those dates will very likely not be met, Barrett said, due to the amount of information requiring clarification.
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