By KATHLEEN SHEEHY | Moonshine Ink

The proposed Dollar Creek Crossing housing development, for which the last proposal was to provide 162 low-income units and 12 for-sale units in the Dollar Hill area of Tahoe City, has been irresponsibly planned and is going to put a great strain on the surrounding community. I have worked as the CFO for two major home builders in California for over 30 years and have worked on numerous projects throughout California and Utah. As a proud resident of Tahoe City for the last 15 years, I am shocked and dismayed at how Placer County and the New York-based developer of the project are trying to push through a proposal that is completely flawed and will put all residents at risk.

The current infrastructure of the town and local neighborhood is not equipped to handle the possible 30% increase in the town’s population that this development would create. Current traffic in Tahoe City, especially during peak summer and holiday times, is already problematic. The short 7-mile drive from this area into downtown Tahoe City has taken up to 45 minutes at times. The added strain of a 30% population increase, and no sufficient upgrades to the city’s roads or infrastructure, is irresponsible and inefficient. The developer assumed that public transportation would help to solve the traffic issues, but this is not New York! We do not have the same public transportation systems and they do not have the amount of snow we receive annually. Not to mention that this area is designated as a very high fire zone with most of the area rated an 89 out of 100 on the fire line risk meter. If an evacuation was ever needed, the congestion and time it could take could cost lives.

The other alarming part of this proposal are the limited open parking spaces for the project. Where is everybody else going to park? This area is the access road for the high school and middle school and is a high-traffic area for students and parents each day. The amount of on-street parking that would be a natural result of this project would turn this into a highly dangerous zone for the entire community.

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I commend and am in full support of low-income housing projects, as are our neighbors, but they need to be proposed with integrity; otherwise, they miss the mark and hurt rather than help communities. The current proposal does not provide any housing for the “missing middle” housing bracket.

Please do not be deceived: Placer County and the developer stand to make millions of dollars from this project and are trying to push it through under the guise of helping low-income individuals. The fact is, they do not know this community and have been irresponsible in the planning of this development. The consequences will fall on us if we do not speak out and stand up to these injustices.

I am hopeful the county will consider the input from the community and reevaluate the density and mix of housing.

~ Kathleen Sheehy has lived in Tahoe City for 15 years, where she owns three rescue dogs and promotes dog rescue. In the area, she loves to hike, bike, yoga, ski, and paddleboard. She loves Tahoe and its community.

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