Open space concerns surface at Tahoe Donner
The Union News Service
TRUCKEE - Some Tahoe Donner homeowners worry a proposed multi-use facility for their neighborhood will
The project is the result of 15 years of increased usage and tremendous residential growth in the area, leading to a need for greater facilities, according to the Tahoe Donner Association.
Existing maintenance and forestry facilities are “fundamentally inadequate” and “significantly under capacity to meet the future needs of the association,” according to the association’s website. The findings that stem from Tahoe Donner’s 2007 General Plan, which recommended either new construction or renovation of Tahoe Donner’s existing facilities.
“There (are) some mighty steamed homeowners up here,” said Tahoe Donner homeowner Kathleen Doler.
They say three of the four potential sites would place the structure at the edge of Tahoe Donner’s vast open space, a portal to the area’s 35 miles of single-track and fire-road trails.
Doler has collected 175 signatures from angry homeowners who believe environmental problems will ensue with added noise from the new facility’s maintenance operations and forestry work. Further, Doler said she feels homeowner opinions have not been listened to by the association’s board members during a May 15 board meeting.
Annie Rosenfeld, Tahoe Donner’s director of facilities and risk management, said forestry workers on site would be tasked with preserving trails and preventing fires through defensible space work.
The association’s management understands resident worries, but they are premature, as environmental studies are still under way and the association is far from ready to choose a site, Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld said the site locations were the result of a four-year research and development project and thousands of hours of professional input by the association’s board of directors, the finance committee and the general plan committee, along with maintenance studies rendered by outside architectural, engineering and operational professionals.
Doler said homeowners still see the proposal as something that strays from previous plans and recommendations that aimed to keep facilities off open space land, consolidating infrastructure to a single site.
“When people find out about this, they’re usually appalled because this is our open space and our trails,” said homeowner Beth Thomas. “In our governing documents, there are six key findings, and the No. 1 highest priority is to maintain and enhance the open space areas.”
Thomas questioned why a facility couldn’t be built farther from opens pace, similar to the U.S. Forest Service’s new facility near the intersection of Highway 267 and Interstate 80.
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