Northstar-at-Tahoe unveils plans for Alpine roller coaster
Union News Service
TRUCKEE – A proposed roller coaster at Northstar-at-Tahoe is prompting surprised homeowners to question whether it fits the environment of their Sierra resort community.
On Feb. 15, the planning department for Booth Creek Ski Holdings, which manages Northstar, received an environmental noise assessment, prepared by acoustic sound consultant J.C. Brennan and Associates, for a proposed alpine coaster to be based out of the Village at Northstar.
In the report, the coaster is described as a two-person toboggan that could be controlled by riders and reach speeds of up to 25 mph.
David Landis, a local homeowner at Ski Trails condominiums, said he was shocked when he saw the report and wondered why residents had yet to be alerted about the idea.
“They shouldn’t even be doing a report yet if they don’t already have community support,” Landis said.
Jessica Van Pernis, Northstar’s communications manager, said the project is in planning stages.
“The project is not 100 percent,” Van Pernis said. “It’s something we’re looking into.”
According to the noise assessment, the project is “predicted to comply with the Placer County … exterior noise level standards … Therefore, no additional noise reduction measures are warranted at this time.”
Northstar officials intend to hold a public workshop if plans are finalized to move ahead with the project, she said.
“It would be a cool offering because it would run year-round, and you don’t even have to be a skier to enjoy it,” Van Pernis said.
Landis and other homeowners are worried noise levels would be higher than estimated in the assessment, he said.
Paul Thompson, a deputy planner with Placer County, said if the department finds the coaster has a less-than-significant effect on the environment, the project would head for a public hearing before a planning department zoning administrator.
“We haven’t made an official environmental determination on the project,” Thompson said.
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