Martis Valley West Parcel / Brockway Campground

Ridgeline Developments above North Lake Tahoe include the following:

These new developments will add to increasing traffic problems in the region, threaten future access for emergency services and evacuation routes, create significant environmental impacts, set more bad precedents for the over-development of Tahoe, and steal from future generations the current views of natural forest and ridgelines that can now be seen from areas throughout the Basin and on the Lake. Although we have provided more detailed information below, FOWS encourages you to also view the citizen-based website for more information.


Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan (MVWPSP):

* November 2018 status: *

On March 12, 2018, the California Superior Court released its decision on the MVWSP lawsuit filed by the Mountain Area Preservation, Sierra Watch, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe (more information below under “Final EIR”). On the positive side, the court agreed the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) had not adequately addressed emergency evacuation issues. On the negative side, the court found that the EIR was adequate with respect to the analysis of impacts (including impacts to the Tahoe Basin). In May an appeal was filed by conservation groups challenging the court’s ruling that the environmental analysis had sufficiently addressed the project’s impacts to the Lake Tahoe Basin, and their opening brief was filed in November 2018. They are currently awaiting the response by Placer County and the project’s owners.


The MVWSP proposes the development of 760 residences and 6.6 acres of commercial/retail uses on undeveloped forest land, with buildings located up to and on the ridgeline above North Lake Tahoe. The project area is immediately adjacent to the in-Basin location where 112 luxury homes (the “MVWP Area Plan”), and now the 550-unit Brockway Campground, are proposed. A public hearing was held on 11/19/2015 in front of the Placer County Planning Commission to receive input. Numerous organizations, including FOWS, expressed substantial concerns with the adequacy of the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) released on 10/22/2015 and the impacts to Lake Tahoe from the project, and requested the technical studies be sufficiently revised and the DEIR recirculated, however Placer County does not plan to do so. The final EIR, released in May 2016, did not adequately respond to most of these comments. Further, Placer County ignored concerns expressed by numerous organizations and entities, including FOWS, the Tahoe Area Sierra Club, Sierra Watch, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, and the California Attorney General, that the EIR had not sufficiently addressed the project’s impacts to Lake Tahoe.

Unfortunately, on 9/13/2016 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for ‘tentative’ approval of the Martis Valley West development. It was estimated over 300 people were in attendance and approx. 60 members of the public spoke with over 2/3 opposed to the project as proposed. Impacts to traffic, public health and safety (e.g. evacuations, emergency access), scenic quality, and Lake Tahoe’s clarity were extensively discussed by many members of the public, yet Board deliberations barely brushed on these topics after public comment had closed. The Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the project at their 10/11/2016 hearing in Auburn, despite information that the conservation of the East Parcel through sale to public land trusts – touted as the main reason the four Supervisors voted in favor of the project regardless of the significant and unavoidable impacts – was not happening.

Comments on the DEIR:

Friends of the West Shore & Tahoe Area Sierra Club: Letter
League to Save Lake Tahoe: Cover, Full letter
Mountain Area Preservation Foundation & Sierra Watch: Cover, Full letter
North Tahoe Preservation Alliance: Cover & Letter, Exhibits
North Tahoe Public Utility District: Letter
Sierra Club – Mother Lode Chapter: Letter
Waller, Ellie (Tahoe Vista): Letter

Final EIR:

The Final EIR was released on 5/3/2016. Few changes to the project were made to mitigate traffic, scenic, and other impacts to Lake Tahoe. Read FOWS 6/6/2016 and 7/4/2016 comments to the Placer County Planning Commission and 9/10/2016 and 10/7/2016 comments to the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted for final approval of the MVWPSP on 10/11/2016. The BOS representative for the Tahoe/Truckee area, Jennifer Montgomery, voted against the project in large part because the purported “benefit” from conservation of the East Parcel – the reason other Supervisors stated for favoring the project even though it will result in several substantial impacts – was not guaranteed.

In the fall of 2016, two lawsuits were filed. One was brought by the California Clean Energy Committee, and the other by the Mountain Area Preservation, Sierra Watch, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe; the three organizations filed their opening legal document (read legal brief) with the court on 6/30/2017. A court hearing was held on 12/14/2017 for the organizations’ lawsuit.