Placer supes tentatively approve Martis Valley West development
The Union News Service
KINGS BEACH — The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted in a 4-1 decision Tuesday to tentatively approve the Martis Valley Specific Plan and the associated Martis Valley West development proposal.
The board will revisit that tentative decision on Oct. 11.
The lone supervisor who voted against the motion to approve the plan was Jennifer Montgomery, who represents District 5 (which covers the Lake Tahoe region).
“This is a dark day for anybody who cares about Tahoe and the future of the lake,” Sierra Watch Executive Director Tom Mooers said after the board’s vote at the North Tahoe Event Center. “Their decision indicated a complete disregard for what really matters to the Tahoe-Truckee region.”
Mountainside Partners’ Blake Riva, lead developer for Martis Valley West, declined to comment after the meeting, but said he was happy with the decision.
According to an email statement later provided by his spokesperson, Riva said, “The Martis Valley West Project represents a combined conservation project that is unprecedented in Placer County, and is the right project for Martis Valley.”
The statement goes on to quote Riva as saying, “In addition the project will contribute its fair share to regional transit and workforce housing initiatives.”
The vote follows about 10 years of negotiations and disagreements between conservation groups Sierra Watch and Mountain Area Preservation and the developer Mountainside Partners with the landowner Sierra Pacific Industries.
“The good news is that we have state law to fall back on, and this approval was not just irresponsible — it was illegal,” said Mooers. “Even the state attorney general agrees with us on that one, so this is not the end of the road.”
Developers argue that their project is in line with the Martis Valley Opportunity Agreement, which was a deal they entered into with the environmental groups back in 2013 to protect the east side of highway 267 from development.
But opponents of the project say the environmental impact report, a requirement under the California Environmental Quality Act, is inadequate.
“If what it takes to secure a good blueprint for this property is litigation to hold them accountable to their own laws, that’ll be the next step,” said Mooers.
Rhoades is a reporter for the Sierra Sun; she can be reached at email@example.com.
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