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Donner Summit homes planned

Donner Summit could soon sprout 950 new homes, two man-made lakes and a down hill ski lift if Royal Gorge owners get their wish to develop the area.

Owners of the Nordic ski resort revealed their plans to a packed house of 200 people Thursday night at Ice Lakes Lodge.

“What we learned last night is landowners plan on major development for Donner Summit,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch, an environmental watchdog group based in Nevada City that helped preserve land in Martis Valley from development.



The Royal Gorge project includes a plan for 950 units of condominiums and single-family homes in two distinct areas of the 3,000-acre property where Nordic skiers flock to in winter. Also within the plans are two man-made lakes and downhill ski lifts connected to Sugar Bowl.

In nearby Serene Lakes subdivision, an area of 700 homes, the average home price is $650,000, and 90 percent of the homes are seasonal, said Ken Stanley, a Realtor with Serene Lakes Realty. He predicts developers will market to upper-end buyers like those in developments such as North Star and Squaw Valley.




“They’re certainly not going to make this development appeal to low-end clientele. That wouldn’t make any sense,” Stanley said.

The property owners, Todd Foster and Kirk Syme, bought the Royal Gorge property, home of North America’s largest Nordic ski resort, in 2005.

“A development of this size around a Nordic ski area is very unique,” said Royal Gorge General Manager Neil Erasmus. He said the development will improve the resort by bringing amenities to the region.

There are about 100 year-round residents at Serene Lakes, located 14 miles from Truckee.

It wasn’t clear how sewage treatment would be addressed, and residents of the Serene Lakes subdivision spoke of traffic concerns.

The meeting was the first of three public input hearings. The other two meetings will take place at 10 a.m. today at Ice Lakes Lodge on Soda Springs Road and at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17, at the same location.

Visit http://www.royalgorgefuture.com for more information about the project.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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