Proposed campground unpopular with residents


By Kathryn Reed

KINGS BEACH – Is it a campground or is it a resort? Is it enhancing or hurting existing recreation? Is it a precursor for future development on the ridge? Is it precedent setting? Will it add to already heavy traffic on the North Shore?

These are just a few of the many questions the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board will have to answer as the proposed Brockway Campground makes its way through the planning, permitting and approval process.

On Wednesday the proponents, Mountainside Partners (formerly East West Partners), spelled out plans to turn an undeveloped parcel off Fibreboard Freeway into a 550-site campground that would include tent camping, RVs and ecoshelters.

More than 200 people turned out for the nearly 2½-hour presentation. All of the 27 individuals who spoke were against the project.

The Sept. 23 unveiling gave the Governing Board an opportunity to learn about the controversial project without an action required. The application was submitted in July. An environmental impact report and environmental impact statement will be required.

Proponents were a bit contradictory in describing the terrain – at first saying how it is a disturbed site because of all the logging that has gone on there in the past (the land is owned by Sierra Pacific Industries), but then invoking how going forward it will be treated like a national park, with a bit of reverence.

Angela Lin with Square One said light from the campground would not be visible from North Shore towns. Many in attendance did not agree with that conclusion.

Attorney Lew Feldman touted the recreation benefits. The audience said a massive campground would negatively impact the current hiking and mountain biking by putting development in the middle of the forest.

In addition to the camping, there will be a swimming pool, lodge for dining and other structures.

Traffic concerns were repeated by many. Fibreboard Freeway, which is a misnomer because it is really a pothole filled U.S. Forest Service road, is off Highway 267 near Northstar. People wonder what the campground would do to already congested roads, as well as what the air quality impacts would be.

When TRPA votes on the project five of the California representatives will have to say yes for it to pass.

Detractors are already lining up.

“This is really blurring the definition between a campground and a resort,” Hal Cole, who represents South Lake Tahoe on the TRPA board, said. “This is not where I want a campground. This is hard to swallow on a lot of levels.” (He is a contractor by trade.)

Clem Shute, California governor appointee to the board, is weary of the former proposal of 112 residences for this site being “suspended” instead of “abandoned.” He called it suspicious and that it was like a threat to have it still lurking out there.

Shute and others pointed out how the Regional Plan says development should occur near urban areas or town centers, and that campgrounds per plan area statements should be near infrastructure. This proposal does not conform to those existing criteria.

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Comments (9)
  1. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    Thank you Kae for your reporting on the propsed Brockway Canpground on the north shore.I hope it does’nt get built Thank you, Old Long Skiis.

  2. lou Pierini says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    Feldman’s first development at ski run and hy 50 and last developmen (the hole) both went bankrupt. How can they consider what he says to be truthful? Cuz it’s not and hasn’t been.

  3. J&B says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    Thanks for reporting on this Kae. The presentations by the developers and their many high-paid consultants could have been coursework for a “how to deceive the public” 101 class. Careful wording, sidestepped issues, pretty pictures, and deceptive focus points. But the public wasn’t fooled! And it was nice to see at least some of the TRPA Board members may not have been either, for a change.

  4. Cautious and Skeptical says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    South Shore folks- A BIG THANKS for your comments. This project is egregious to say the least and is just the tipping point for other inappropriate development on iconic ridge tops. Kae did an excellent job of capturing over two hours of commentary.

  5. Irish Wahini says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    ‘” JUST SAY NO!” Over-development is like a bad drug!

  6. Atomic says - Posted: September 24, 2015

    Yep, this thing is lurking. The lurking part is that the developers want to start with a campground and evolve it into a neighborhood. Get real, no developer in their right mind thinks they are going to make money off of a seasonal campground. The campground just green lights the infrastructure improvements to justify the neighborhood project that they really want. This whole thing is just a sad silly charade.

  7. Liberule says - Posted: September 25, 2015

    Amazing that this is even up for debate. If this project goes through you can literally say goodbye to Lake Tahoe as you know it. That’s IF you can make it down highway 50. I’ve never in all my years seen a clusterf*^% of such proportions. Next time you’re sitting in LA style traffic on the Blvd. take a look at the workers. 80% are standing around talking to each other. Tax dollars at work. It’s so bad that it’s making people late for work/school daily. Unbelievable the city hadn’t stepped in. But then again look at our “officials”.

  8. reloman says - Posted: September 25, 2015

    Liberule, I am totally confused about how this project would affect hwy 50, it is no where near the 50 as it is in Kings Beach. Which is on the north shore.

  9. Liberule says - Posted: September 25, 2015

    2 separate issues. Since no one was talking about the construction I figured I’d insert it here. I’m rebellious like that.