Snowmaking at Tahoe Donner



June Update:

With recent Planning Commission approvals and Use-Permit Amendment for our snowmaking activities at TDA Downhill Ski Area, we are now full-speed-ahead with snowmaking installation planning at Learning Center and Snowbird Chairlift, for anticipated snowmaking operations to commence in late 2015

Important Message:

Board Approves Budget to Proceed with Snowmaking Project

On Friday, March 27, the board of directors approved a budget for 2015 of $750,000 to proceed with the snowmaking project, with additional funds allocated in 2016. The recommendation, based on the information staff has at this time, is to move forward with project infrastructure, including a cooling tower for 2015, and eventually install 7 Silent Polecat (or equivalent) guns. A cooling tower lowers the temperature of the water before it reaches the snow guns, making for a more efficient system and ultimately translating to fewer operating hours to enough snow to open Snowbird lift and the learning areas. See more about the snowmaking project, including data, reports, links, videos, and more.

Finance Committee Endorses Snowmaking

The Finance Committee met to discuss snowmaking at Tahoe Donner Downhill on March 12. After a thorough discussion that included a cost-benefit analysis, the Finance Committee voted unanimously, 6-0, to affirmatively endorse and recommend that the board of directors approve the snowmaking project at their March 27 meeting, so that we can have this capability in place as insurance for the 2015-16 ski season. Read the meeting overview.

Snowmaking Project Analyzed

As you are aware, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area services have been severely limited by a lack of natural snowfall for the last few years. For most ski areas in the North Tahoe/Truckee area, the answer to this is to make artificial snow. As a result of recent winter weather trends, Tahoe Donner Association has evaluated the feasibility of this solution for the beginner area of the Downhill Ski Area. Known as “the best place to begin,” we give four times as many lessons per visit than the average ski area in the U.S. and Tahoe Donner’s beginner terrain is considered the best location for this improvement project.

Over the past few seasons, the General Plan Committee and Downhill Ski Area subgroup have analyzed the financial and service impacts of poor snow conditions on our members, guests and the public. After a detailed investigation of the availability of power and water, the cost of installation and operation, and the sound level of the equipment, the subgroup presented a report to the boards of directors for both Tahoe Donner Association and Tahoe Donner Ski Bowl Condominium Association. With continued support, the TDA board has recently asked staff to move forward with the concept of installing snowmaking on the Snowbird Run area.

The detailed investigation uncovered several important facts, including:

  • In the past, snowmaking machines have been louder and less efficient than today’s models. Modern machines are much quieter and more efficient while producing a constant frequency fan noise – similar to a normal conversation, and less than a grooming machine.
  • Utility and operational costs of snowmaking are minor compared to revenues generated when the ski area is operating.
  • Studies show sufficient water supply and ample reserves for these snowmaking activities. For more information on water availability, contact the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.
  • The benefit of providing continuity in the ski area operation is important to the service expectations of our membership and financial well-being of the association.

Sound Demonstration and Town Hall Meeting

To illustrate the sound levels heard from snowmaking equipment, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area held a snowmaking sound demonstration on Feb. 14-15. Tahoe Donner staff also presented the entire snowmaking report at a Town Hall Meeting on February 20. Information presented at this meeting is listed below.

Member input is encouraged. Please email the General Plan Committee at generalplan@tahoedonner.com.

Useful Links and Additional Information

February 9, 2015


Tahoe Donner Recognizes Outstanding Employees



Tahoe Donner has a wonderful team and has awarded the following outstanding team members for 2014:

Brian Yohn: Reserves Project Manager – Most Valuable Player (MVP)brian-(3)

Sheryl Walker: Architectural Standards Office Manager – Manager of the YearSheryl3

Jeff Jack: Banquet/Event Manager, The Lodge Restaurant & Pub – Best Customer Service
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Matt Belote: Senior Support Analyst, Information Technology Dept. – Team Member of the Year
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December 17, 2014

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Mountain Bounty Organic Produce Program



Would you like to receive a weekly delivery of fresh, seasonal produce, locally grown and straight from the farm?

The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is steadily picking up momentum with more participants joining the program each week! The CSA winter program currently runs for 24 weeks for veggies (deliveries through May 14, 2015) and 17 weeks for fruit (deliveries through March 25, 2015). Box varieties are delivered to the Trout Creek Recreation Center and will be available for pickup anytime between 2-10 p.m. on Thursdays, starting Nov. 20 (one week before Thanksgiving).

By participating in a CSA Program you have a direct relationship with the local Mountain Bounty Farm which delivers fresh produce on a weekly basis straight from the farm. See Mountain Bounty Farm for more details.

Interested? It’s not too late to join. Sign up here or contact Dana with Member Services at 530-582-9656 or via email at dherlihy@tahoedonner.com.

October 5, 2014

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Are You Burning Debris Legally?



Burn permits are required for members of the association for debris burning. Burning season usually starts around the end of October. Once we receive several inches of measurable precipitation and it is deemed safe to burn piles, CAL FIRE will lift the burn ban in the Truckee area. Tahoe Donner does not regulate the burning of debris; however, burning in the association is only permitted once the burn ban has been lifted through Dec. 31 of a given year.

To burn dead limbs, pine needles and other vegetative debris collected from your improved property, you must obtain a residential burn permit from either the Truckee Fire Protection District (TFPD) located at 11473 Donner Pass Road or CAL FIRE located at 10277 Truckee Tahoe Airport Road. Undeveloped properties must obtain a project burn permit from TFPD as well as an air pollution permit. Once you obtain your burning permit and intend to burn on a given day, you must call 530-582-1027 to confirm it is a permissible burn day. Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District manages the burn day status with the predicted weather conditions. If it is a burn day, you must then call TFPD to report you are burning at your given location.

The following are burning permit terms for vegetative material:

• Maximum pile size is four feet in diameter.
• The area within ten feet of the outer edge of the pile must be maintained free and clear of all flammable material and vegetation.
• An adult must be in attendance with a shovel until the fire is out.
• A water supply must be located at the burn site.
• It is a good idea to cover your piles before fall rain to keep the material dry for efficient burning with little pollution.

If you have any questions about burning on your property, please call TFPD at 530-582-7850 or the forestry department of Tahoe Donner at 530-587-9432.

September 12, 2014


Tahoe Donner Residential Building Envelopes



Members often ask how and where they can develop their lot at Tahoe Donner. There are various zoning rules from the Town of Truckee combined with Tahoe Donner Association governing documents that regulate where you can build on your lot, often called the “building setback” or “building envelope.”

Building setbacks exist for many reasons. They enhance street aesthetics, create privacy by preventing buildings being constructed too close to one another, and also prevent encroachments and snow from possibly shedding across property lines. Another reason for the setbacks is to provide easements for access, recreation, erosion control, and utilities so local power and water companies may gain access to infrastructure.

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Setback Lines:

  • Front Setback: Each lot includes an easement of snow storage by the Town of Truckee. These easements consist of a strip of land 20 feet wide at the front of each parcel and parallel to all roads (corner lots).
  • Side Setbacks: A minimum 10 foot side setback running parallel from the side property lot lines.
  • Rear Setback: Running parallel to the rear property lot line, a minimum rear setback is equal to 20 percent of the gross area of the lot or a minimum of 25 feet. The rear setback is intended to be preserved as a greenbelt area.
  • Building Height: The maximum height for any structure or improvement shall be 35 feet measured from the building’s midpoint on the downslope.
  • Maximum Lot Coverage: The maximum area to be surfaced including all buildings and paved areas is 35 percent of the total lot area.

Easements:

  • Utility Easements: Easements for installation and maintenance of utilities and drainage facilities are shown on the subdivision maps. These easements generally consist of 10 feet at the front of the Lot parallel to the road lines and five feet along and parallel to the rear and side lot lines if present. Within these easements, no structure, plantings or other material shall be placed or permitted to remain which may change or interfere with the installation and maintenance of utilities or which may damage, interfere or change the direction of flow of drainage facilities in the easements.
  • Recreational Easements: Recreational easements are shown on the subdivision maps. These easements typically consist of a 10 foot strip of land along the property line. In some cases, this strip of land could be much larger if running adjacent to the rear lot line. Within these easements, no structure of any kind shall be placed, erected, constructed or maintained, and no tree or vegetation shall be felled, cut, trimmed, pruned or removed, except as may reasonably be required by the association to construct and maintain trails and park sites therein and/or for the construction and maintenance of public and private utility easements shown on the subdivision maps.
  • Access Easements: These easements are created so an owner can gain access to a relatively steep lot. An access easement gives someone the right to travel across a designated strip of land owned by another person for ingress and egress purposes. Maps showing all access easements are maintained in the Architectural Standards Office.
  • Slope Easements: These easements were created to protect steep areas from erosion and sliding. No structure, plantings or other materials shall be placed or permitted to remain which may damage or interfere with established slope ratios, create erosion or sliding problems, or may change the direction of drainage channels.

More information can be found on easements and setbacks in Article VI and IX of the TDA governing documents, and pages 10 and 11 of the Architectural Standards Rules, Procedures and Restrictions for Land Use. If you have any questions regarding your building envelope or setback lines in relation a proposed structure or landscaping project on your lot please stop by the Architectural Standards Office for further assistance.

Sheryl Walker
Architectural Standards Manager

September 9, 2014


Water Conservation: What is Your Role?

New water regulations.

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TAHOE DONNER WATER CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Tahoe Donner and TDPUD work together on water conservation.

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Mountain Bliss Womens Weekend at Tahoe Donner

Mountain Bliss Women’s Weekend comes to Tahoe Donner the weekend of Aug. 7 - 9.

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Tahoe Donner Giving Fund Dining Event, Aug. 3

Dine at Pizza on the Hill and support the Tahoe Donner Giving Fund

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