Letter: Placer supes ignoring the law and public

Open letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors,

Ongoing county actions concerning two major development proposals at Lake Tahoe (Martis Valley West and the Squaw Valley Village Plan) have disregarded several letters to the Board of Supervisors advising you of your legal shortfalls concerning compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and your Placer County codes.

The county is on a path to cause numerous long term and irreversible impacts to North Lake Tahoe, while demonstrating an alarming disregard for the public interest. The state attorney general’s comments on your environmental impact reports: “reasoning is flawed.” …“entirely inconsistent with the purposes of CEQA”…“EIR fails to include significant pending projects.”…“EIR analysis is impermissible under CEQA.”

We call on you to uphold your legal obligations to the public. Is not government formed by and for the people? Your approval of the Martis Valley West and Squaw Village projects are dismissive of the compelling concerns raised by the public and several agencies, as well as over 60 small businesses. Will the public have to seek remedy through the courts to force county compliance with our laws?

Auburn seems to be telling the Tahoe public to accept over 20 significant and irreversible environmental impacts from the Squaw Village project. Among other egregious consequences, the proposal would expose every person caught in a Squaw Valley emergency evacuation to a 10.7-hour traffic stall. If not incinerated in Squaw, the crawling cars and buses would then be trapped on Highway 89 from Tahoe City to Truckee.

The Martis Valley development would substantially worsen traffic on Highway 267. The CHP testified on July 7, 2016, that the traffic on July 3 was backed-up from Kings Beach to Northstar until midnight. Traffic failures in Kings Beach are forcing police to patrol by bicycle.

Both the Squaw and Martis developments would cause traffic “Level of Service F,” which stands for failure. Should the Tahoe Emergency Evacuation Plan simply say, “Good luck waiting!”

Who will be accountable for the charred families caught in those forest fires that will rage, at some point, through Tahoe? You know for a fact (the F grade) that our road infrastructure cannot accommodate these developments.

The supervisors’ first and foremost responsibility is to the public’s health and safety. We need you to demonstrate responsible and accountable government, comply with our laws and avoid unnecessary litigation.


Daniel D. Heagerty, director Granite Chief Wilderness Protection League

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    Comments (6)
    1. Court says - Posted: September 24, 2016

      Welcome to the Corporatocracy. :-(

    2. Robin Smith says - Posted: September 24, 2016

      ‘They’ are not willing to fix infrastructure but have plenty of time and energy to ‘hustle’ $millions$ of federal $dollars$ on these projects that will, as you point out, bring in more tourists and TRAP them here.

      Build a ‘loop’ road! and let them drive around in circles while they burn.

    3. Cautious and Skeptical says - Posted: September 24, 2016

      Sadly our only recourse will be to litigate. Waste our precious personal dollars against the Counties and developers to prove what they already know: the environmental documentation is inadequate and flawed, public health and safety is at risk and our iconic ridgelines destroyed.

      Ignoring the California Attorney General is beyond comprehension.

    4. Lou pierini says - Posted: September 24, 2016

      The Placer County board will spend your money to defend the developers. A recall is too late so you have to litigate.

    5. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: September 25, 2016

      Developers develop that’s what they do, expect that. The public development/approval process is adversarial by nature and the court room is the endpoint of that process as it should be. No surprise here developers understand and expect it everyone else should too.

    6. Robin Smith says - Posted: September 25, 2016

      Developers develop that’s what they do…..

      Cannot believe you wrote that! LOL