Other Activities affecting the West Shore

This page includes information regarding other Projects & Activities that FOWS is concerned will affect the West Shore. Please check back for updates and copies of comments submitted by FOWS and other organizations. Information regarding the Meeks Bay Restoration Project, Homewood Village Resort, Fanny Bridge/SR 89 Realignment Project, Martis Valley West/Brockway Campground Plans, the TRPA Regional Plan and Strategic Initiatives, and Placer and El Dorado County Area Plans is provided separately (click on each project/plan title for details).

 

Squaw Valley – Proposed Village:    

The proposed project includes major new construction at Squaw Valley, drawing 1,000’s more overnight guests, countless more day visitors, buildings over 100 feet that will forever block cherished Valley views, and other impacts to the Squaw Valley community and the environment, including within the Lake Tahoe Basin. FOWS remains concerned with the extent of proposed development along the West Shore, North Shore, and areas bordering the Lake Tahoe Basin (such as Squaw Valley), and the cumulative impacts of these multiple projects on our communities, which include increased Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in the Basin, increased water and air pollution, noise, and other adverse impacts associated with increasing visitor and resident populations, both in the Basin and surrounding areas. Learn more at Sierra Watch’s Keep Squaw True page.

Documentation:

Notice of Preparation (NOP) issued 2/21/14;  Read FOWS Comments 3/24/2014
Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) issued 5/18/2015;  Read FOWS Comments 7/14/2015
The Final EIR was released on 4/7/2016. Read FOWS Comments to: Planning Commission 8/7/2016; Board of Supervisors 11/13/2016 

Project approval and litigation:

On 11/15/2016 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the project. The only “no” vote came from Jennifer Montgomery, the representative for the Tahoe/Truckee region. Evidence used by Supervisors to support their decision included an 11th hour agreement with the California Attorney General to pay just over $15,000/year toward mitigation for impacts to Lake Tahoe (as the costs of efforts to address Tahoe’s environmental damage run in the billions, this amount won’t go very far). Sierra Watch recently challenged whether this agreement violated the Brown Act, a law established to ensure due public process..

On 12/15/2016, the Sierra Watch filed a lawsuit against approval of the project based on a flawed environmental analysis (CEQA suit) and violation of public meeting laws (Brown Act suit). The opening brief for the lawsuit is available here. The California Superior Court heard arguments regarding both aspects of the Sierra Watch lawsuit against the VSVSP in May 2018. On 7/6/2018, the court released its ruling on the lawsuit regarding the Brown Act, siding with Placer County and the applicants even though evidence shows due public process was not followed. Sierra Watch intends to appeal this ruling. The court has not yet released its ruling regarding the CEQA suit.

 

Base-to-Base Gondola – Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley:   

A Base-to-Base Gondola that will cut through the Granite Chief Wilderness Area has been proposed. FOWS is concerned about the impacts the proposed gondola route will have on scenic quality and natural resources, wildlife habitat, and other values, as well as the precedent the gondola’s approval could set for possible future gondolas in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Status:  

There were two separate Notices for the proposed Base-to-Base Gondola. Placer County’s Notice of Preparation under CEQA was released on 4/22/2016 (read FOWS comments). The U.S. Forest Service’s Notice of Intent under NEPA was released on 4/30/2016 (read FOWS comments). In late July 2016 it was announced that a the gondola proposal will now go through a joint Placer County/U.S. Forest Service environmental review process; a revised public notice was distributed in September.

Numerous conservation organizations, including FOWS, have expressed opposition to the proposed route, advocating for an alternative alignment to be evaluated. Not only are we concerned with the impacts to the Wilderness Area, but also the potential precedent that could be set.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (DEIS/R) was released on 4/27/2018. Read FOWS comments here. Placer County anticipates release of the final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) in early 2019.

 

Other Projects, Plans, and Activities: 

California State Route 89 Corridor Planning (Tahoma to South Lake Tahoe):

The State Route 89 (SR 89) Corridor Planning project will look at issues like parking along the highway, curb and gutter, pedestrian access, etc., with emphasis on Emerald Bay and the Camp Richardson areas. The project will also look at potential bike path routes south of Meeks Bay and through the corridor. Valuable information has been gathered about the current roadway-related problems and one thing is clear – resolving the issues will not be as simple as adding more parking spaces or trying to get more people to ride existing transit services. Solutions will require multiple approaches and collaboration across the board.
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Beginning in July 2018, TRPA and other project planners initiated surveys to gather input from the public. We encourage those interested to sign up for their e-news list. View the project’s fact sheet or read more details here.

Lake Tahoe Passenger Ferry:

Although FOWS recognizes the benefits of improving public transit options, the passenger ferry service, as currently proposed, will create significant air and water quality impacts to the West Shore and Lake Tahoe, as well as increase the spread of invasive species in the Lake. A Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation (NOI/NOP) was released in 2013. Read FOWS comments here. As of 2018, preparation of the draft environmental impact study is currently on hold.

Liberty Energy (aka “Calpeco”) Electrical Line Upgrade Project:

Liberty Energy will be upgrading and adding new electrical lines in the “resort triangle” area (Truckee/Kings Beach/Tahoe City), creating significant environmental impacts within the Basin in order to increase electrical capacity for resorts primarily outside of the Basin to expand. In addition, this will be done at the expense of existing ratepayers, who will benefit little, if at all, from the project.

Meeks Bay Resort Upgrades:

Plans are underway to assess potential upgrades and improvements to the Meeks Bay Resort, which provides day-use beach access, marina activities, lodging and RV and tent camping. The U.S. Forest Service and partner agencies issued the Notice of Preparation/Notice of Intent in the fall of 2018 (which outlined the proposed project). Learn more here.

TCPUD’s West Shore Water Treatment Plant:

The Tahoe City Public Utilities District (TC PUD) has approved a project to upgrade water treatment facilities on the West Shore. Learn more. As of June 2018, construction is anticipated in 2019.