Environment

Attorney general’s office withdraws opposition to Truckee-area development

The Martis Valley provides a beautiful vista as a mountain biker makes a fast, tight turn at Northstar on July 21, 2016, in Truckee.
The Martis Valley provides a beautiful vista as a mountain biker makes a fast, tight turn at Northstar on July 21, 2016, in Truckee. Randy Pench

The state attorney general’s office has reached an agreement over its opposition to the Martis Valley West project, clearing the way for development of 760 residential units near the Northstar California ski resort.

The attorney general’s office had expressed concern that the project would diminish Lake Tahoe’s water clarity and increase greenhouse gases. It raised the possibility of legal action in a September letter to Placer County.

In an agreement announced by developers Tuesday, the project team has agreed to pay a $385,000 fee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency even though the Martis Valley West project lies just outside the agency’s Tahoe Basin jurisdiction.

The agreement includes a provision that the attorney general’s office will not sue over the project.

“We are glad to have come to a resolution,” said Blake Riva, of Mountainside Partners.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the Martis Valley West project in October by a 4-1 vote. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, who represents the area, cast the only no vote.

The project faced widespread opposition from Truckee-area residents, partly because of concerns about the traffic impacts of another major development planned at the nearby Squaw Valley ski resort.

The Martis Valley West developers, Mountainside Partners and Sierra Pacific Industries, have touted their project as “conservation and development plan” that “protects highly coveted open space in the heart of Martis Valley and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for the community.”

They say the project will conserve 6,376 acres out of about 7,000 acres total.

In September, the developers also announced they would not pursue a planned development on 120 acres of ridgeline property overlooking Lake Tahoe. Instead of pursuing plans for a private campground, the developers will sell the land to the U.S. Forest Service for permanent conservation.

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