May 2016 Update:
With Nevada County’s grading and building permits in-hand, the Board of Directors authorized staff to award the construction contract earlier this month, for Phase 2 of TDA’s Equestrian relocation efforts in 2016, weather permitting. As we approach May 1, where governing agencies allow excavation and grading projects to begin, we continue working with the contractor to strategize schedules for starting and finishing necessary grading, ahead of mid-June, when planned operations commence at the equestrian campus.
The Nevada County Planning Department has now issued grading and building permits for TDA’s relocation efforts. The 3-acre conversion permit is also complete, which allows further construction bidding to occur this fall and winter for grading and construction efforts in 2016, weather permitting.
July Update: The Nevada County Planning Department issued their first list of questions this week, and with permit approvals forthcoming this summer, we aim to perform phase 2 improvements and grading later this year, after the summer equestrian operations are complete. In the meantime, R&D Professionals is constructing the tack sheds and fencing sections on the south parking lot area, in effort to not interrupt the Equestrian Operations with construction activity.
January 12, 2015: The Equestrian Steering Committee met to review the following items;
Project Scope and Detail: During the summer of 2014, Lahontan Water Quality Board requested that Tahoe Donner Association consider relocation of the Equestrian operations in 2015, to increase the existing buffer from adjacent wetlands. Tahoe Donner Association responded accordingly, and established an Equestrian Steering Committee to design a relocation plan for implementation in 2015, pending Board approval and receipt of necessary agency permits during early 2015. In late November 2014, the Equestrian Steering Committee combined various draft concepts for a final presentation to the Board of Directors, see draft Equestrian Master Plan below, which eventually received Board approval and authorization for Staff to engage agencies for initial review, and to host a Town Hall meeting on January 9, 2015. The proposed project is detailed below for your review, including public and homeowner comments and questions received that evening. By relocating existing paddocks for boarding and trail rides, along with associated tack sheds and necessary water and power utilities, the entire relocated equestrian operations is now proposed in upland areas that are more than one hundred feet from the nearest wetland or waterway. (2,250) linear feet of A-frame fencing is proposed around the perimeter of this relocated operation, which improves safety for all users as they utilize surrounding and existing trails and roadways. By fencing the perimeter of this 7 acre operation, it also delineates the proposed 100’ operations setback from the surrounding delineated wetlands and waterways. Existing trails to the nearby aspen grove and Euer Valley will be maintained, and the new fenced equestrian operations will not block existing summer trails, but rather further maintain and orient users through improved educational and wayfinding signage. During winter operations, the horses and A-frame fence will be removed as necessary to maintain access to existing winter trail alignments. The proposed and relocated paddocks and tack sheds are intentionally dense in placement, rather than dispersed throughout the surrounding area, primarily for ease of access, circulation and future maintenance. Once the existing trees have been inspected for health and safety, the paddocks and tack sheds would be placed around the remaining healthy trees for the overriding benefits of additional shade.
Homeowner Comments with Equestrian Steering Committee consensus:
- What has Nevada County and Lahontan said in regards to this proposal? They have received the master plan draft as approved by the Board in November 2014, but request more time to review.
- What would the initial comments be? During the summer of 2014, Lahontan performed a site visit with Tahoe Donner Staff, and upon touring the equestrian operations, Lahontan requested that Tahoe Donner consider relocating equestrian operations upland and 100’ away from wetland areas for the 2015 season. Tahoe Donner Association aims to engage consultants to further define the project scope which includes minor leveling and utility installations, including erosion protections and environmental reporting as required.
- The master plan appears to be an expansion of equestrian operations. The master plan reflects an area that is slightly smaller than in years past, as many areas are no longer available due to adjacent wetlands. The number of paddocks remains the same, and tack sheds are relocated and distributed to maximize circulation efficiencies.
- Can we start getting bids to do the project? Tahoe Donner Staff will be obtaining preliminary pricing for the February 20th meeting, held at NWCH mezzanine at 10am.
- There are differing styles and color of existing fencing, consider consistency and better aesthetics. The steering committee will further review color options as budgets allow.
- Consider allowing hikers and bikers through the proposed fenced area to maintain existing off-piste access and travel. Although the fence will be built in 6’ sections and can be altered to accommodate many access point and user scenarios throughout the changing seasons, user safety is paramount to Tahoe Donner, so off-piste access and travel shall remain around the perimeter of fenced area as necessary.
- Consider relocating stored paddocks during the winter season, as they currently conflict with the skier experience. The Equestrian operations team will consider alternative storage locations.
- What steps can be made in the interim and until the permits are issued? During these winter months, Tahoe Donner Association can identify dead or dying trees, while also staking out future paddock locations around healthy trees allowing for shade. Also, organization of all existing and future inventory will assist in the relocation and improvements likely to occur in June of 2015.
- What is the anticipated schedule in submitting for permit? While pricing and further details are forthcoming from contractors and consultants, along with final approvals to proceed by the Board of Directors, Tahoe Donner Staff is working to make permit applications this winter or early spring.
Considerations are being made for the next Equestrian Steering Committee meeting on February 20 at 10am at NWCH Mezzanine.
November 2014: In response to Lahontan Water Quality Boards request, an Equestrian Steering Committee has worked with Staff and the General Planning Committee, along with input from recent Town Hall meetings to provide clear recommendations for a relocation to 100′ away from adjacent wetlands, including updated infrastructure, safe circulation, and efficient equestrian operations. The Board of Directors reviewed and approved these recommendations on 11/22/2014, allowing staff to move forward with plans for the final Town Hall meeting, which is set for January 9 at 5pm at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub. We will continue working with committees and agencies to further detail the project scope for forthcoming permitting and budget approvals, in accordance with the approved Equestrian master plan version 7.1 (see below). Upon receipt of final board and agency approvals through the upcoming winter months, work aims to begin this spring for equestrian operations during the summer of 2015.