By CAROL POLLACK  |  Tahoe City

The Tahoe City Public Utilities District is proceeding with plans to build a new cross-country center in the Highlands neighborhood of Tahoe City. When this was first announced it seemed like a great idea. However, what is now proposed is massively out of scale for its purpose, and has severe environmental impacts, for which studies are moving ahead without construction or operating budgets. I have had a home for many years in the Highlands and, like many other neighbors, was pleased when it was announced that planning was underway for an improved center. Unfortunately, the proposed center is the wrong project in the wrong place.

The location is adjacent to the North Tahoe middle and high schools, has a more than 10,000-square-foot building (the current one is 2,200 square feet), a 59,000-square-foot parking area, and road. It would require the removal of up to 40 large trees and it would put as many as 100 more cars and buses a day onto streets used by residents, school children, and gym classes. It could lead to even more accidents during coming winters on the icy and extremely dangerous sections of both Polaris and Old Mill roads.


I do not think it makes sense to introduce, store, and handle volatile fuels and other hazardous materials right next door to the North Tahoe middle and high schools. Additionally, the proposed project adds more traffic to the only emergency evacuation route from those schools. This project location will create noise and air pollution, disturb topsoil, destroy wildlife habitats, and/or alter the drainage of a seasonal stream.

For all of these reasons it seems like a much better idea to reduce the size of the proposed lodge, rebuild it where it is currently located, and improve parking and landscaping to mitigate impacts on adjacent neighbors.

If you are concerned about the negative impacts that are described above, please send correspondence opposing the project to the individuals and agencies listed here.

TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta (, Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery (, Placer County Sheriff ( North Tahoe Fire Chief Mike Schwartz (, TTUSD Superintendent Robert Leri (, NLT School Principals Joanna Mitchell ( and Chad Lindeen (, the TCPUD (,,,,,,,, CA Tahoe Conservancy Director Patrick Wright (, and League to Save Lake Tahoe CEO Darcy Collins (

~ Carol Pollack is a resident of the Highlands neighborhood in Tahoe City.

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