Letter: Stop overdeveloping the Tahoe area


To the community,

Two spectacularly bad ideas:

Martis Valley West (MVW) and the Brockway Campground (BC) are Proposals with cumulative impacts:

1. Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) and Mountainside Partners (aka East/West) is the developer on both.

2. Both adjacent projects are located on the ridge overlooking Tahoe and Truckee one mile west from Highway 267 on Mt. Watson Road.

3. Both projects propose massive development-MVW is 760 homes in a gated community plus 6.6 acres of commercial. Brockway Campground is huge-550 campsites/RV spaces/yurts on approx. 150 acres. (Yosemite is 1,169 square miles and has only 1,445 campsites.)

4. 4,000-plus people will occupy the iconic ridge between Tahoe and Truckee; 1,900-plus for the gated community MVW and up to 3000 for the campground (Yosemite Valley Family Campground’s 459 sites accommodate 2,754 people)

5. Both projects will alter the rules: MVW lands will require rezoning from forest/conservation and the campground will require a special use.

Why these two adjacent proposals are a terrible idea for the region:

1. Destruction of an important wildlife corridor and natural setting.

2. Degradation of an important recreational open space.

3. Traffic congestion and gridlock.

4. Diminished air quality.

5. Permanently ruins community character and vision.

6. Dangerous precedent to justify further development along Tahoe’s iconic ridgelines.

7. Loss of nighttime dark skies.

8. Ground water loss.

9. Scenic loss.

How much can the Tahoe basin absorb before you don’t recognize it anymore? Isn’t trading development from the Martis Valley onto the ridge above Tahoe just moving Truckee problems to Tahoe which has less capacity to handle them? Who is looking at the big picture? Where is TRPA?

Anne Nichols, North Tahoe Preservation Alliance


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Comments (27)
  1. lou Pierini says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Don’t forget to throw in the Homewood project and the Squaw project and Tahoe will really get porked into urbanization. Get involved or it will all happen.

  2. liberule says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    I would be willing to do absolutely anything to stop this. I hope this town shows big rich developers we will not be pushed around.

  3. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    somebody is taking bribes.

    Lou you are so right.

    Meyers pay attention.

  4. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Chief, Meyers is already a thing of the past. Placerville will decide our fate now as they always have.

  5. rock4tahoe says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Ummm, have you been down to Stateline Nevada, North or South, lately.

    Casinos, highways, freeways, airports, sub-divisions, piers, parking lots, golf courses, commercial and residential property is everywhere.

    The cows left that barn years ago.

  6. J&B says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    In 2012, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency became the Tahoe RESORT Planning Agency.

    And yes, Meyers, look out. Problem is, more people need to speak up or Placerville, and TRPA, will make the decisions.

  7. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    I don’t think there will be any big development in Meyers. Residents don’t want it and more importantly the economics wouldn’t support it. I think redevlopment and investments will be concentrated at stateline and the Y, a little bit at Ski Run and Kingsbury Grade. I would be very surprised if any big development happened in Meyers. The economics just don’t support it.

  8. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Carl, you are missing the point in that it does not matter what Meyers wants or does not want. We do not have a vote in anything Meyers and decisions are going to be made by 4 BOS who do not live here. We have no supervisorial input or vote or interaction on what happens in Meyers. Our supervisor that now represents us lives in Placerville and anything that will happen in Meyers will be decided by him and 3 others. We all want to see growth and have our community thrive but we also want to participate in the process and we cannot do that now. The Tahoe Chamber is not going to get anything from their candidate that they endorsed (with about 63K) in the Meyers area and the residents that are willing to speak up must do so with another supervisor and must do so through either email or go down to Placerville. Our supervisor cannot talk to staff nor the other BOS and cannot vote on anything to do with the Meyers plan. Can we really afford to wait another four years to get representation? Regardless of what others thought of me at least I could participate and vote on the process and I want Meyers to grow and prosper I just wanted to have a say in the process and others did as well. If you take out the Pollock area we lost by less than 4% of the vote but no one paid any attention to the aftermath of what was left out of the election process. Most folks would have rather seen me lose because they didn’t like me than elect someone who could represent us. We don’t necessarily need me but we do need a seat at the table which we do not have thanks to the Tahoe chamber govt. affairs group for not doing their homework. Our area needs to take their blinders off and contact our supervisor and have her explain what happens now before it is too late. Try contacting our BOS # 5 and ask yourself. You are going to be surprised.

  9. J&B says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Carl, if it won’t work in Meyers, then why do TRPA and the County keep pushing so hard for the new plan to allow it?

  10. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: August 5, 2015

    Kenny with respect I get the point your making and am very familiar with your position on this. It’s a semi valid point but we are where we are and locals don’t seem to have the interest or energy to go through any process to change things. So let’s move on and if Sue runs again the voting public can take it all into account. In the meantime locals need to be active and influence the process as they can.

    J&B there is a difference between what politicians and agencies want and what investors will spend millions on and expect a return on. These are two different things. Why would an investor spend a dime in Meyers when they could invest in stateline or the Y or other places where they have a much better chance at a return on their investment? Stateline can barely get the investment in needs because investors can invest in other destinations/places that offer better returns. Look at how Carsars world or Vail spend much of their investment capital in other places. As an example Vail just spent $50m on a lift in Utah. It’s simple economics and Meyers is a challenging investment at best. In all honesty Meyers can barely support the existing retail and restaurants. Look at the turnover in restaurant concepts over the last decade. I just don’t see it.

  11. Irish Wahini says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    I thought the residents of Meyers were pretty vocal about proposed changes to their community during the Santiago fiasco/reign. Folks just have to remain vocal & on target. Years ago when Placerville wanted to have SLT develop a huge Golden Bear project in forest land that was dedicated under the Santini-Burton Act, many fought it & were successful (so we do NOT have high-tech lighting & amplified sound in our forest).

    Stay the course and stay vocal! It is really too bad that Supervisor Sue doesn’t just give up her seat – she must have known she would not be able to vote on important issues for Meyers.

  12. Cautious and Skeptical says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Development atop any ridge-line MUST be prohibited. TRPA you’re not off the hook! Scenic Vistas MUST be protected and it’s your responsibility ! 550 sites for tents, RV’s and yurts, restrooms and showers, a swimming pool, a general store and mountain top restaurant is NOT a small development. If the environmental impacts are too great will Mountainside Partners go back to their original proposal of 100+ luxury units varying in size? Stay Tuned for the environmental documentation and public meetings to voice your objections.

  13. gigguy says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    The silence on all issues, from the elected District 5 supervisor, is deafening. I wish I could say the same about C.R. – you know, the guy who made the pronouncement that Ski Bum had a semi-valid point. Thanks for the opinion C.R.- it’s semi-valid. Whatever that means….

  14. reloman says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Carl, what kind of investments do you really see for the Y area? I would think any investment coming into town would first go towards state line, esp since the casinos are looking into a multifunctional event center across the state line.
    What kind of investments do you see for the Y area that would payoff for investors?

  15. LeanForward says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Carl, well said. I made this point to a friend of mine who was looking at buying a home up here. I simply pointed out that there were better investments one could make with their money.

    In regards to Myers I agree with Carl. Investors are going to go where the money is. That’s what they do. When I invest, it’s always with the intent of making money.

  16. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Reloman I agree with your premise that a rational investor would invest at Statline first given the potential for higher returns. I do think we will see limited investment at the Y now that the area plan is adopted. Again the level of investment will only be to what the anticipated returns will be. That’s why I think Meyers will never see the level of major development some in the community fear IMHO.

  17. TeaTotal says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    I think that all of these investment gurus would admit that inheriting money-or in some cases, marrying a rich woman-gives one the means to be a REAL capitalist-using other people’s money to make money
    in some perverted ‘greed is good’ world these people should be revered and emulated

  18. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    I think you are wrong about no investors in the Meyers area. We can and have investors willing to make the move to Meyers but there are so many stumbling blocks with Placerville and our own area that no wants to come in. We can move forward and work with these folks (many are locals) but we need a voice and vote to do it. The right investor and smart investor will look at the community first and maximum return at the same time. Investors will not come here without incentives and we should not allow them without something in return such as community involvement. Investing in the community works both ways yet so far with all new development it only works for the investor, we need to change that. Invest in the community for the long term not get rich quick short term with those of us who have been in the community, live in the community and have invested in the community. We are not corporations but residents. We invest in the community not in the corporate office and overseas bank account, we answer the phone ourselves and not in another country with someone named “James”. Carl, I just can’t believe that you and so many others are taking such an “Oh Well it is what it is” attitude with our communities future. Investment does not always have to be major. I am saddened by the apathy in our community. I respect your opinion and have always valued it but I can’t bring myself to accept it and roll over and go with the flow of Placerville.

  19. Buck says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Well said Kenny and I will say the same for the other side of state line.

  20. rock4tahoe says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    I am sorry, but Meyers is not going anywhere fast.

  21. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Kenny, as always I appreciate your comments. Let me clarify, when I talk about development I am referring to the major types of development that could in some way dramatically change the character of Meyers. That is the kind of development that some people in the county fear, Stateline type of development. Do we want to see investment in Meyers? Of course we do. We want to see investment in upgrading existing locations as well as adding new buildings where appropriate. I just don’t see major development of the type that people fear happening. The numbers just don’t support it compared with other areas for investment opportunity in South Shore. Follow the money not the rhetoric.

    As to your suggestion that my approach is “Oh well it is what it is” is a misinterpretation of what I am suggesting. What I am saying is the South Shore people will hold Sue or any elected official to account at the ballot box which is at should be. That is not an “it is what it is” approach. It’s a realistic assessment of the chance of success to change the current supervisor situation, I take a longer view and the ballot box is where that opportunity exists. That should not dissuade all the effort we can implement i.e. attending meetings, writing letters shape policies in Placerville. I just don’t think there will be any kind or recall or anything else that will change things. You may differ in your assessment and we can agree to disagree.

    A final note about corporations. I fully understand your anti-corporate sentiments and appreciate them. But at the end of the day these corporations and their investment are needed. I know many in this country have lots of anger toward major corporations which I have too. I am no fan of what Wall Street has done but the reality in my opinion is this, we cannot afford to have an entitlement mindset that we are owed by corporations. They can simply choose to never invest more here or choose to be here. I think that kind of thinking limits us. In reality we are owned nothing because we are locals. We have to be realistic every business in South Shore big or small is loyal to their bottom line, period, that will never change. I would suggest we look to attract the kinds of corporations (big and small) in Meyers or elsewhere in South Shore that have a culture that sees value in being part of the community, and giving to the community and supporting a community.

  22. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Thanks Carl. This is where the Meyers Area Plan takes shape and we all asked for the MAP to be delayed until we got a new supervisor from the election so we could have a vote and voice. It is my belief that we need to do that again, put the plan on hold until we can get a vote. The MAP we had studied to the ends of the earth was actually a great idea and most of the community agreed with 90% of what was requested to change and the only (well one of a few) problem left was the height of the buildings which was about a couple of feet only. We could have worked it out but we chose to wait until we got a vote. Same situation different time of the year. If we wanted to wait until we got a vote then why not now. The situation has not changed. The voting power has not changed. We do not have a vote or input on the MAP. Do what is best for the community and not an individuals pride. I don’t see this happening either but one can hope. As far as the ballot box goes I had sincerely hoped that all the facts would have been presented before Feb 2, 2015. I feel that if we all would have been honest there would have been a different outcome rather than the lesser of two evils in some voters mind. Community before pride. I agree with gig: The silence is deafening. We can only hope there will be some resolve when the BOS meets up here at the end of August. My other hope is that Mr. Veerkamp will be a little more accessible than he was at the last showing as he is now our defacto supervisor with a vote.

  23. lou Pierini says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    The TRPA has final say on the Meyers issue. Those opposed or in favor of the plan should make their case there.

  24. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Not true Lou. According to the semi final third draft of the MAP there is a committee made up of seven residents that will have the final say. This group will be elected or appointed by the BOS. That was the main focus of why we wanted to wait. Brendan Ferry presented that to us. Moot point on the TRPA vote anyway as Mr. Veerkamp is now our rep as well on the TRPA

  25. lou Pierini says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    TRPA has to approve the plan.

  26. lou Pierini says - Posted: August 6, 2015

    Mr. Veerkamp has only 1 vote, of 14 voting members.

  27. Liana says - Posted: August 13, 2015

    I am appalled at the scope of development being proposed for Martis Valley. It seems big money runs rough shod over everything these days. I wonder if anyone has thought how such development would mean less water would be going to Reno?

    Something else being over developed by the USFS on a lessor scale is the Camp Rich campground. It’s yet another loss of traditional Tahoe ambiance:

    Anne: I agree with you completely.