This sprawling new development, together with its proposed sister project, Brockway “Campground,” is
not near any existing infrastructure as claimed in the developer’s proposal – the nearest existing development is Northstar, which is four miles away. Additionally, the development of a huge gated community of single- and multi-family homes plus commercial is not compatible with existing zoning of forest/conservation.
The developer cites environmental gains from its proposed development, which replaces a potential development on the east side of Highway 267 in the Martis Valley. This east parcel is already zoned for development. Comparing MVW, on the west side of 267 overlooking the Tahoe Basin and currently zoned forest/ conservation, to something that was never even applied for is simply a way of making a huge new development more palatable; smoke and mirrors.
The developer is required to include lower-impact alternatives to full development in the DEIR. Those alternatives should have included (but didn’t) a reduced-density development on the east-side parcel, which is already zoned for development, is closer to infrastructure, would have no roads in the Tahoe Basin, and would not have emergency access roads in an avalanche zone, as the proposed site does.
The total number of new occupants in the proposed 760 units could be 1,900, using 2.5 occupants per residence. It may not be this high all the time, but also may exceed this at peak times like holidays. However, the developer’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) assumes a ridiculously low 20% occupancy rate in order to minimize the significant impact this number of new people and cars will have in the area.
Although many of the project’s impacts are stated as being “less than significant,” removing 37,000+ trees and disturbing 11 million square feet (253 acres) on an approximately 600-acre ridgeline bench overlooking Lake Tahoe would certainly be significant in terms of forest and wildlife destruction.
Despite the developer’s claim that there would be no significant visual impact, a development of this size, with the attendant residents and traffic it would bring, would most certainly be visible both day and night in Tahoe and the Martis Valley. And let’s not forget the thousands more people and cars that will be brought in with MVW’s sister project, the Brockway “Campground,” which will be directly adjacent to MVW and INSIDE the Tahoe Basin.
Should the project be built as proposed, it would require new intersections and cause significant traffic impacts (gridlock) in 6 intersections in a high wildland-fire area, as well as significantly increasing greenhouse gases. These issues will affect both the Tahoe Basin and Martis Valley/Truckee.
The project would require widening Highway 267 from two to four lanes – more forest disturbance and destruction. At the summit going into Tahoe, however, it will still be two lanes – a scary bottleneck for residents who might have to get out of the Basin in a hurry in case of fire.
Should this project be approved, a dangerous precedent will have been set regarding development on Tahoe’s ridgelines. Most communities with scenic ridgelines also have ridgeline protections –Placer County does not have any significant or enforceable protections in place.
The developer asserts that the wildlife on the east parcel is somehow more important than the wildlife on the west parcel – another bogus justification for this project. The west parcel is home to many protected species and also contains twelve contiguous miles of migratory corridors used by bear and deer.