TRPA staff recommends Tahoe pier project — with conditions
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staffers have endorsed a much-revised plan for a controversial private pier in Lake Tahoe’s Glenbrook Bay.
The staff recommendation was included Thursday in the bistate TRPA’s agenda for its Dec. 19 meeting. Items up for a vote include the pier sought by liquor merchant Larry Ruvo and casino lobbyist Harvey Whittemore is on that agenda.
The TRPA staff had recommended against the original plan for a fixed pier nearly 300 feet long, with two boat lifts. The amended plan is for a floating pier about the same length, with the lifts, in front of a lakefront home owned by Edward Fein. Fein, Ruvo and Whittemore would share the pier.
Reno casino owner and Napa Valley winery owner Don Carano had been involved in the original pier project. But he’s not included in the amended version, submitted Dec. 5.
Glenbrook property owners opposed to the pier were disappointed with the TRPA staff recommendation — but said proposed conditions still represent big roadblocks for the pier proponents.
“I think the facts favor us, but we’ll see” said Bud Hicks, a Reno lawyer and Glenbrook homeowner who’s fighting the Ruvo-Whittemore pier plans. “But it’s amazing. This is the fastest-moving application in the history of the TRPA. It moved at hyper-speed.”
The pier foes have accused the planning agency of giving preferential treatment to influential and powerful applicants throughout the Tahoe Basin — including Ruvo and Whittemore.
One condition suggested by TRPA staffers requires a court ruling that the project won’t “unreasonably interfere with any recreational-access rights” held by the Glenbrook Homeowners Association.
Another condition calls for a court ruling that Fein lacks legal access to the existing community pier in Glenbrook Bay. The homeowners association says he, as one of 273 property owners in the upscale community on Tahoe’s east shore, does have that access.
Until those conditions are met, pier construction can’t start.
It’s not clear yet whether a finding on the conditions would have to come from U.S. Magistrate Robert McQuaid in Reno, who earlier had put a federal court battle over the pier on hold pending action by the TRPA.
The pier project had been up for a vote at the TRPA’s November meeting. But it was sidelined because of the changes in the plan.
The private pier would be located about 400 feet south of the existing community pier — the only that now traverses a pristine beach in the center of Glenbrook Bay.
The homeowners’ group and the Glenbrook Preservation Association, also fighting the pier project, say the private structure would likely be used to dock boats for people attending large events and parties hosted by the influential pier advocates — and residents don’t want all the added activity.
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