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Project has plenty of opposition

Lake Tahoe developer James Borelli is currently in escrow regarding an 18-acre parcel of Douglas County land he hopes someday to build on. However, there is opposition to the project he’s proposing and not just from the newly created Friends of Burke Creek.

Both the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the California Attorney General’s Office have concerns.

The groups believe if the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s board ever approves the project it would be a violation of TRPA’s own ordinances.



The project, South Shore estates, is planned for an 18-acre parcel near Kahle Park and Lake Village condominiums.

Borelli says the 26 buildings he plans for the area as well as the accompanying private drives will use only about 12 percent of the land. That is well within TRPA’s design criteria for the parcel. Developers could feasibly build 54 units there and still comply with the agency’s rules, Borelli said.



“TRPA’s design criteria for the plan area statement clearly allows a project like this,” he said. “In fact, it allows for a project twice as big.”

However, the League and Attorney General’s Office don’t agree the project should be approved.

At the time the project was going before the board in March – and was subsequently delayed until this month – Dan Siegel of the California Attorney General’s Office wrote the board stating that the project conflicted with TRPA’s Water Quality Management Plan and its Code of Ordinances.

“The League shares the concerns expressed in the letter of opposition by Dan Siegel, supervising deputy attorney general,” said Dave Roberts of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “The TRPA needs to provide a detailed explanation of how subdivisions of this type are allowable under the code.”

The regulations try to prevent potential water quality damage from the buildings and roads involved with building subdivisions on undisturbed land, Roberts said. And while there may be a way to argue the proposed development doesn’t apply, the result is the same as ones the Plan and Code are trying to stop.

“(This development is) no different from any subdivision you would find in Southern California,” Roberts said. “And that’s what we’re trying to prevent.”


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