The proposed Stonewood Estates project has provided a forum for the adjacent property owners to assume the role of experts on water quality issues and guardian of the environment while attacking a dedicated public official.
It is self-serving to support and extol the virtues of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency land use ordinances beyond their intended scope. The small number of Lake Village residents and "Friends of Burke Creek" who are vocal on the development issue have missed the point. Development is not always bad! Major environmental and water quality improvements are derived from both redevelopment and new development.
The TRPA provides bonus development resources to projects that qualify as Environment Improvement Projects (EIP). This is done as an incentive for private development to be part of the solution; thereby leveraging resources combined to improve the environment.
Would the opponents of this project prefer the property fenced, posted with "No Trespassing" signs and developed as a single-family estate? This would not require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS or EIR) nor would it ensure that Burke Creek restoration occurs or that wildlife could or would access the property. Isn't the more intelligent alternative one that allows for complete environmental review and if any development occurs that it proceed with the appropriate safeguards?
In response to the statements and allegations regarding Commissioner Don Miner and his actions as a TRPA board member, most boards are comprised of a group of diverse individuals who bring expertise and perspective to the decision making process. The TRPA board is no exception. It does not have nor was it intended to have members who are all of the same persuasion. Discussions made by this board are often unpopular but necessary to comply with mandated environmental thresholds. Commissioner Miner has demonstrated his ability to protect property rights without compromising the environment.
As a 25 year Lake Tahoe-Douglas County resident who has worked with the TRPA and Douglas County on a daily basis, I have always found Commissioner Miner to be well prepared, well informed and available to all sides of contentious issues. He is also committed to finding compromise when beneficial to all involved. Commissioner Miner is an unselfish public servant who is able to balance the time requirements of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, TRPA Board Member, NTRPA Board Member, Tahoe Resource Conservation District Board Member, and his own private practice. To have Commissioner Miner recuse himself from any decision as a TRPA Board Member without a direct conflict is unrealistic, unnecessary and detrimental to the process for which the board has been convened.
I am sure Commissioner Miner's position on the Stonewood Estates development to date was based upon sound judgment of the facts at that time.
Can the opponents of this project say the same?