Martis Valley project protested |

Martis Valley project protested

David Bunker

TRUCKEE – Approved by Placer County leaders, the Martis Valley Community Plan may soon head to the courts as three environmental groups plan a lawsuit against what they call the plan’s “nightmare of traffic, pavement and smog.”

Sierra Watch, the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation and the League to Save Lake Tahoe have 30 days to file litigation on the plan that proposes as many as 6,300 homes in and around the valley southeast of Truckee.

It also allows significant commercial development and plans to widen a portion of Highway 267 to four lanes.

“(The) vote is more like the starting gun than the finish line,” said Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch. “Now we can pursue litigation and, hopefully, compel stakeholders to the table to talk about a compromise plan.”

The Placer County Board of Supervisors certified the Environmental Impact Report and approved the project and rezoning associated with it. Supervisor Rex Bloomfield opposed the plan last week.

The plan will govern county decisions until and unless it is overturned in court, said Placer County Planning Director Fred Yeager.

Sierra Watch has proposed an alternative, which will allow for about 3,000 homes to be developed and will protect what the group has identified as environmentally sensitive areas.

Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, said that she hopes the litigation will force the county to revisit the planning process and evaluate the major environmental impacts she says were left unanalyzed.