Lake residents see paradise slipping away

STATELINE — Norma Thayer found paradise on the shores of Lake Tahoe three decades ago. Years later, a developer did the same thing.

Now Thayer is among some 30 residents of the Tahoe Shores Mobile Home Park who are about to be forced out to make way for the Tahoe Beach Club, 143 condominiums that will sell for more than $1 million each. The lakeshore project is hailed as environmentally friendly, but that’s no consolation for those being displaced.

“There’s no place else in this whole area at midnight you can walk down to the beach, take off your shoes and walk in the water,” said Thayer, 82. “You just feel like you are walking on a cloud.”

“Here we are in our golden years, and nowhere to go,” said Betty Neff, 82. “It’s all about money and greed.”

Land conflicts near Lake Tahoe typically pit conservationists concerned about protecting its water against developers out to reap profits from the community that draws hundreds of thousands of tourists annually to its ski slopes, golf courses and casinos.

In the case of the Tahoe Beach Club, however, regulators say developers have worked hard to be environmentally friendly.

“Our board voted unanimously for this, and we are not unanimous on anything,” said John Singlaub, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the land-use regulator Nevada and California created in the 1960s.

The agency gave the plan its blessing in August partly because a water treatment system will prevent approximately 11,000 pounds of sediment from running off into the lake each year and eliminate 7,720 tons of carbon emissions, a 63 percent reduction.

The plan also will restore two acres around a stream and enhance the natural ecosystem of a creek and meadow.

“I think they really hit it here in terms of environmental improvements,” Singlaub said.

The nearly 20-acre site is surrounded by ponderosa pines.

The $200 million to $250 million project will feature resident-owned condos selling for $1.5 million to $4 million in buildings resembling traditional Tahoe estate homes and historic stone-and-wood lodges with lofts and porches. It will include membership in a private beach club, restaurants, a fitness center, snack bars, all the amenities of a five-star hotel and a private, sandy beach as long as a football field.

“It’s a special place in the world, and it’s going to stay that way,” said Bob Mecay, president of the Tahoe Beach Club.

“We have an opportunity to make some real significant environmental improvements and aesthetic improvements. To me, it’s really urban redevelopment. It’s reuse.”

Mecay said it was “inevitable the current use would not continue. It’s worth way more than a trailer park.”

South Shore Tahoe LLC bought the property for $12.6 million in February 2002, and within months notified planners of its intentions.

Mecay said construction could begin next summer, but a slow economy could push that back.

Residents have been offered various buyout plans that the remaining 30 residents find unacceptable.

“I wouldn’t want to leave if I lived on Lake Tahoe and was paying $500 a month for rent,” said Tom Castaneda, the company’s vice president.

Many residents own their mobile homes, but none own the property beneath them. The 155-unit trailer park, once the site of a small airport, was built in the early 1960s when only a few casinos dotted the lake’s south shore in Stateline and neighboring South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Singlaub said the project is part of an ongoing effort to use redevelopment to make environmental improvements and “get rid of old, tired architecture — in this case an old converted airport they put trailers on — which I think detracts from the area scenically and economically.”

“People don’t realize it, but there are a number of trailer parks in the city of South Lake Tahoe and, in most cases, environmentally they are a mess,” Singlaub said.

The plan requires the developers to provide 15 moderate-income housing units at a yet-to-be determined site and 39 units of affordable housing at an apartment building next to the trailer park. Trailer park residents will get at least six months’ notice before they have to move.

The buyout options include a $5,000 payment, reimbursing all costs to move to another trailer park within 100 miles or the fair appraised value of the trailer. In many cases the trailers are so old they can’t be moved, and often the appraised value doesn’t cover demolition costs.

The developers have offered displaced residents first rights to the apartments, but some said the units are run down and they can’t imagine moving into a 650-square-foot apartment.

Many of the mobile homes are nicely painted with well-cared-for lawns. But since people started to move out, others have fallen into disrepair with weeds and junk piles.

“This was a good neighborhood,” said Monroe Friedling, 81, who has lived there for 29 years. “We had picnics together and Christmas parties.”

“People kept their places up, and you knew your neighbors,” said Jan Christensen, 57, a resident since 1982.

The holdouts would like to sue to block the development but can’t afford a lawyer and haven’t found one willing to take on their fight for free.

Williams said while they continue to object to the change, most realize it’s inevitable.

“Except for Monroe and Jan. They will be standing on their porch with a 12-gauge shotgun to the bitter end,” he said.

Christensen, who has leukemia, grits her teeth and nods.

“I will keep at it until I draw my last breath.”

ad-high_impact_4
News
1 dead after shooting near Sahara and the Strip in Las Vegas
Lt. Ray Spencer briefs the news media on a shooting at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South that left one dead. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
2 in custody after chase
Two people were in custody after a chase involving Nevada Highway Patrol and Nye County Sheriff"s office deputies ended in southwest Las Vegas. Las Vegas police blocked off Rainbow Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement personnel prepared to tow a black sedan as part of their investigation. It's not certain what precipitated the chase or where and when it started. Check back for updates.
Police Officer's Vehicle Was Taken During Shooting
Video from body worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday shows an officer realizing his police vehicle has been taken during the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. It was later recovered at Sunrise hospital with the keys in the ignition and nothing removed. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
See Kitty Hawk’s flying car cruise over Lake Las Vegas
Kitty Hawk takes their flying car for a ride in the company’s hidden test facility in Lake Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Las Vegas police wild pursuit through busy Las Vegas streets
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Man shot strolling through park
A man was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after being shot while walking in a central Las Vegas park. Las Vegas police say the man and a woman were in Molasky Park just after midnight when the man was shot. The pair ran to a nearby supermarket where a security guard called for help. The man was hospitalized and as of 3 a.m. was in stable condition. Police have yet to identify the shooter and no suspects are in custody.
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Suspect fires at Las Vegas police before officers shoot, end wild pursuit
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like