Court Hears Oral Arguments Over Proposed Development Project
On the morning of Dec. 17, legal counsel representing Placer County versus Sierra Watch, Mountain Area Preservation, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe presented arguments for and against the proposed Martis Valley West development project.
The three organizations opposed to Martis Valley West are contending that the decision makers who approved the project in 2016 “failed to meet state laws by downplaying impacts on fire safety, traffic, and the clarity of Lake Tahoe,” per a Sierra Watch newsletter in advance of Dec. 17. These organizations were represented by Daniel Selmi and Eugene Wilson.
Whitman Manley and Clayton Cook, supervising deputy counsel for Placer County, spoke on behalf of Placer. Both sides discussed the project’s effects on greenhouse gases, traffic, lake clarity, and zoning.
“We’re very happy with how our counsel represented our claims,” Chase Schweitzer, Sierra Watch’s engagement director, told Moonshine Ink.
The arguments, heard by justices in California’s Third District Court of Appeal, will be deliberated over the next 90 days, with the possibility of a decision being made anytime up until March 17, 2022. Learn more about the Martis Valley West project at taylor-builders.com/martis-valley-west.
~ AH, ME
301 New Affordable Housing Units Since 2017
On the evening of Dec. 15, District 4 Supervisor Sue Hoek shared some holiday cheer and the premiere of a county-made film on affordable housing with residents of Lone Oak Senior Apartments in Penn Valley. The film features Lone Oak resident Nadean Cain.
“Building community here at Lone Oak means so much to me, especially during the holidays,” said Hoek of the event. “We did a lot this year, but it is just the beginning.”
Also featured in the film are Truckee Artists’ Lofts residents, Beatriz, Justin, and Wendy Schaffert who represent the families served by the new housing options in eastern Nevada County. There is also a bird’s eye view of construction at Cashin’s Field in Nevada City and Brunswick Commons in Grass Valley, which are both currently under development.
Since 2017, eight housing developments have been in planning, active construction, or completed in Nevada County, totaling 301 new units of affordable housing throughout the county: 157 units for western Nevada County and 144 units for eastern county. A total of 175 units are now complete and are in the process of leasing or have residents already moved in.
“By January 2022, 69 additional units will be completed, and we want to keep going. Affordable housing is a priority and seeing these properties come together is really inspiring,” said Mike Dent, Nevada County’s director of housing and child support services, in a press release.
To learn more about Nevada County’s plan to address homelessness, including strategies to increase affordable housing, visit bettertogethernevadacouny.org. Residents are encouraged to learn about available resources and ways to support the community with volunteer opportunities and special programs for qualified landlords.
~ Nevada County press release
Actor Jeremy Renner Says He’s Building a Tahoe Fire Station
NORTH LAKE TAHOE
Appearing on the Kelly Clarkson Show, actor Jeremy Renner announced he is building a fire station for the Lake Tahoe community near the California/Nevada border. Renner owns a house near Mount Rose, and wanted to take direct action to combat increased wildfire activity.
“It is a hot zone for fires, so we’re creating [the station] to protect the community,” he told Clarkson on her show. “Tahoe got struck pretty hard. It’s lovely to give back to the community, and I love to do it.” The actor gave no firm details about location, coordination with local agencies, or timing of the project. Renner is reportedly also founding a defensible space company to work in the region.
~ AH, BL
Largest Ever Tahoe Invasive Plant Removal Project Launched
The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in partnership with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, has begun the largest invasive plant removal project at Lake Tahoe. This new project, announced Dec. 15, will remove 17 acres of invasive plants in the Taylor and Tallac creeks and marshes as part of a comprehensive restoration of one of the last natural wetlands in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Left unchecked, aquatic invasive plants can have devastating effects on Tahoe’s ecosystem and recreational resources.
“Invasive plant eradication projects have typically been measured in single acres,” said Sarah Muskopf, aquatic biologist with the forest service. “Using new technologies, including larger mats, reduces the cost of implementation and allows us to meet restoration objectives more efficiently.”
Crews are staking large tarps known as bottom barriers to the bottom of the Tallac Marsh and hope to have all the tarps in place by early 2022. Bottom barriers starve invasive weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil of sunlight and are commonly used in the Tahoe Basin to control infestations.This project falls under the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, a collaboration working to achieve the environmental goals of the region. Funding is provided by federal Lake Tahoe Restoration Act allocations as well as $100,000 in private contributions from the Tahoe Fund.
The USFS asks recreation enthusiasts to use caution when walking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing in these areas as the mats are very slippery when wet or covered with snow, and to respect the fencing around the project for public safety and to help ensure the project is successful. The project will not impede access to Kiva and Baldwin beaches and is anticipated to last through 2024.
~ USFS, TRPA, Tahoe Fund joint press release
Legacy Trail Phase Enters Final Design Stages
Phase 4A of the Truckee River Legacy Trail is currently in the final design stages for construction summer 2022. This section of trail will travel along the south side of the Truckee River from a new trailhead parking lot at the end of South River Street in Truckee to the Placer County/Town of Truckee line to the west. Future phases (not constructed in 2022) would connect the trail to State Route 89 at West River Street. The project will also construct a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Truckee River, connecting the trail to West River Street near Mill Street to the north.
~ Town of Truckee newsletter
NLTRA Grants $50,000 for Regional Events
As part of its annual special events partnership funding, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association recently granted $50,000 in support of new and returning regional events that will contribute to the local economy in 2022 by driving overnight visitation and creating a well-rounded variety of events in the region. Fifteen diverse events that will take place in Placer County received financial support and include human-powered sports, cultural, culinary, and health and wellness offerings.
Many events will be put on by local event producers and were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding will support their efforts to bring these events back to the community:
- Snowfest!: Celebrating its 40th anniversary of supporting local nonprofit organizations through hosting of unique High Sierra events like the Polar Bear Swim, Snow Golf Tournament, Dog Pull, curling, and more. Feb. 25 – March 6, 2022
- The Great Ski Race: A fundraiser for the nonprofit Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue, this year with a new course that starts and finishes at Tahoe XC. March 6
- Tahoe Spark: A health and wellness event that includes yoga, meditation, energy healing, creativity, and more. April 30 – May 1
- Made in Tahoe: A popular festival featuring all things local, including artisan crafts, nonprofits, food, drink, entertainment, and local vendors. May, October
- Lake Tahoe Paddle Racing Series: A series of paddle race events for paddling enthusiasts and competitors. June 18, July 23, Aug. 27 – 28, Sept. 17
- Lake Tahoe Dance Festival: Produced by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, this is Lake Tahoe’s annual professional dance production featuring classical, modern, and contemporary dance. July 27 – 29
- Skate the Lake: A fundraiser for Boarding for Breast Cancer, now in its 18th year. August
- TaHoeNalu Paddle Festival: A weekend paddle festival event on Lake Tahoe. Aug. 6 – 7
- Concours d’ Elegance: North America’s premier wooden boat show and fundraiser for the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation to help preserve the environment and history of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Aug. 12 – 13
- Haight-Ashbury Concert: Music from the heyday of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, hosted by the nonprofit Tahoe Truckee School of Music. Sept. 11
- Oktoberfest: An annual event benefiting the High Sierra Lacrosse Foundation, enjoy authentic German beer and Bavarian music and dance, plus the ever-popular Oktoberfest Games and plenty of family fun. Sept. 17
Event producers are required to use the funds for marketing or public relations in support of the events. The NLTRA’s special event partnership funding is available annually. Learn more at nltra.org.
~ NLTRA press release
Workforce Housing Grant Program Serves 72 Employees in Year One
Landing Locals, the administrator of the Town of Truckee’s Workforce Housing Grant Program, has administered 44 grants to homeowners in the first 13 months of operation. In total, 72 local employees were housed, with 80% of homeowners/grant recipients saying they want to renew after 12 months with their current tenant, and that if their current tenant does not stay, they’d want another local long-term tenant. All tenants placed through the program are still in place. Learn more about the Workforce Rental Grant Program and Landing Locals and the available long term rental properties.
~ Town of Truckee newsletter