Friday, November 20, 2009

Tahoe Ticker Column 16 – The Boulder Bay Project

As I write this on Friday afternoon, the snow is dumping and it looks like our reluctant winter is starting. No more road crews, no more outdoor construction, and for a couple of weeks the North Shore is ours before the holiday hordes descend.

This week I attended the first of the TRPA public hearings on the Boulder Bay Project. I'd say that over the course of the public comment period in the afternoon, about 100 people were there. Comments were about 31 in support of the project, 2 or 3 I would characterize as opposed, and 4 or 5 neutral. Positive comments came from representatives of The Tahoe Forest Health System, Booth Creek/Northstar, Sierra Nevada College, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, the Family Resource Center, Tahoe Women's Services, Placer County, Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, North Tahoe Business Association, Parasol, the Incline Veterans Club, Northstar Environmental Action Team, National Geographic Geo-tourism, small business owners, and the neighbors of Crystal Bay, Kings Beach, Incline Village, Tahoe Vista, Tahoe City and Truckee.

The proposed project is to be built to the LEED Silver standard and will mitigate some significant runoff problems now contributing to the decline in lake clarity. It will be a destination resort with less gaming space than the Biltmore, and some beautiful landscaping.

I've been trying to understand what little opposition there is to the project. Of the three people who spoke against it at the meeting, one said, in effect, "nothing like this has ever worked in Crystal Bay, and this won't either." This is not an argument I find compelling, or even interesting. Others, from the North Tahoe Preservation Alliance were, in my view, unclear. In the past there have been more than a few documented instances of this group arguing based on false, distorted, or unproven assertions about the project. In my testimony I spoke out against this sort of duplicitous attempt to derail what I think is an excellent project, and was then taken to task by two people from the NTPA for (a) violating my own writings against uncivil personal attacks and (b) being unable to prove that their assertions were, in fact, false.

To the first, I attacked no one personally – I did call out the NTPA for what I mention above. As for the second, I am putting my research together and will respond in a future column, probably in the Bonanza, where I have more space. I don't think I'll do that in my next column because it comes out on Thanksgiving.

Also about the first, check out - Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation has joined in a nationwide effort toward civility called "Speak Your Peace" – this site is your opportunity to sign on.

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