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1 <br /> <br />September 2, 2013 <br /> <br />TO: Truckee Town Council <br /> <br />FROM: John N. Martin, 14909 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee, CA 96161 <br /> RE: Tahoe Donner Revised Plans <br /> <br />Background <br /> <br /> I am writing as a property owner in Tahoe Donner and as a professional in environmental <br />studies. When I am not in residence in Truckee, I am a professor of environmental ethics, writing and <br />teaching at the graduate level about the relation of development to conservation. Since its first public <br />exposure I have been very concerned about the details of the proposed renovations at the Tahoe Donner <br />Marina. For the reasons laid out below, I would like to urge the Council, in the interest of the <br />community, to confirm the Commission’s unanimous ruling and require Tahoe Donner to revise its plans <br />in fundamental ways so as to make it compatible with the natural setting and ecology of Donner Lake. <br /> <br />The Commission’s Unanimous Rejection <br /> <br />As you know, the Commission rejected the plans for a long list of reasons: <br />• The proposed retaining walls at the west end of the beach, which not only would not prevent <br />erosion (as claimed) but which violate ordinances governing slopes greater than 30%. <br />• The placement of the patio, pathways, and lawn, which would necessitate very significant earth <br />movement, entailing the removal of six large health Jeffery pines, and which would endanger the <br />remaining trees. It would also violate ordinances governing slopes greater than 30%. <br />• Extensive lighting, which not only would be six time greater than the minimal limit required by <br />ordinances but which would entails extensive trenching that would endanger existing trees <br />• The enlarged patio that would reduce pedestrian traffic lanes and small boat staging areas, <br />endangering those using the Marina. <br />• Perhaps most significantly, the difficulty of formulating enforceable restrictions that would <br />prevent Tahoe Donner from using the enlarged dinning and meeting areas for large, non- <br />recreational events like weddings and after dark gatherings. <br /> <br />Tahoe Donner and the Environment. <br /> <br />Normally, Tahoe Donner is a good environmental custodian, and its environmental record is <br />exemplary, for example, in the purchase of land like the Euler Valley for preservation, its near textbook <br />perfection of the management of Tahoe Donner’s forests, its policies on the environmentally friendly <br />removal of biomass, the excellent trail system open to the public, and the shuttle service to cut down car <br />usage. But, the three-time failure of Tahoe Donner to obtain approval before the Planning Commission, <br />the extremely detailed critical analyses by the Planning Commission Staff, the nearly unprecedented <br />public objections to the proposal, and the unanimous rejection by the Commission of the latest proposal <br />should make it abundantly clear that the Marina project is an exception to this general rule <br /> <br />The root causes of the controversy, in my judgment, are two: <br />