Fire service accesibility an issue in Heavenly development |

Fire service accesibility an issue in Heavenly development

Lauren Theodore

Construction of 12 residential ski-in, ski-out housing units along the Heavenly Ski Resort Stagecoach ski run in Nevada could start as early as this summer, according to Andrew Strain, director of planning for Heavenly.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Heavenly’s application last week.

An additional 120 units are planned in a second phase, which is not yet approved. Strain said building the additional units will take two or more years because of the extensive planning that will be conducted.

The proposed 12 units on Quaking Aspen Lane would blend with the mountain landscape, Strain said.

“It’s the type of project people will like because of its setting. There is nothing quite like it in Tahoe,” Strain said. Owners of the units will be able to open their back doors, step into their skis and glide down the mountain.

“There will be minimal visibility from Carson Valley,” Strain said. “We think it would be an asset to the community.”

Developers had asked the board to waive a 24-foot width required for roads and settle on 16-feet for the gated entrance.

Allen Ripkin, a resident of Quaking Aspen Lane, has watched the roadbed deteriorate over the years and expressed his concerns with the new development. He questioned how the added cars would impact the area. “The 1996 Autumn Hills Fire taught us that we didn’t know much,” Ripkin said.

“Frankly, the residents are getting tired of this.”

“When are we going to invoke the good planning that we created in the master plan?” asked Don Miner, Tahoe’s representative on the board.

The critical issue became fire service accessibility to an area without room to turn around a fire engine.

After Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department officials told the board that it would be difficult to drive into the area with a 16-foot drive in emergencies, the board and developers compromised on widening the proposed 16-foot-wide drive to 20 feet.