“(Placer) County and the town of Truckee have always had the ability to work with the rest of the development community. The fact that they’ve waited so long to really get serious about those measures has put them in a really tough spot.”– Matthew Lewis, Spokesperson for California YIMBY.
The housing crisis in ski towns is no secret and is especially true in Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Some workers have to travel fifty miles one way, choosing to live in cheaper areas like Reno and Carson City. This fall, a new documentary is coming out that dives into the issues that locals in the Lake Tahoe area face.
Back in February, we posted about a film project about the Tahoe Housing Crisis. Since then, they filmed the project, and they released the first trailer of their documentary this past weekend. Called ROOM AND BOARD, the documentary talks with athletes and local townspeople to discuss why housing is such a struggle in the region. They are aiming to raise some funds for the post-production process, so click here to help them finish the project and get it out to the masses. The film is expected to premiere this fall.
The main points discussed in the film are starting to be explored by a growing amount of news outlets. Last week, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported on what the ski resorts and local communities are trying to do to solve the area’s severe housing crunch.
During the 2021-22 season, Palisades Tahoe leased a campsite from the U.S. Forest Service and used it for workers to live out of their vans on Highway 89. The main amenity was access to waterless toilets. The disadvantage to this setup was that there was no water, heat, or electricity. Plowing snow during the heavy December storms was also a challenge. They are hoping to expand it to 26 campsites for next winter. Palisades Tahoe also bought eight units at Kings Beach to house 24 employees.
While the proposed and recently canceled village at Palisades Tahoe was clearly a story of excess, it would have supposedly provided housing for three hundred employees.
Other ski resorts are considering replicating Palisades Tahoe’s strategy of using campsites for winter housing. Other considerations include dormitory housing, and adding tiny houses to a campground. Jonathan Cook-Fisher, who is the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger, said the following about the Palisades campsite:
“The fact is, winter camping can be hugely challenging. [The Granite Flat camp that Palisades Tahoe used was] indicative of the lengths communities are going to come up with solutions [to the affordable housing crisis].”
Some restrictions have been made on short-term rentals, but Matthew Lewis, who is the Spokesperson for California YIMBY, said changes won’t come until Lake Tahoe leaders prioritize dense apartment housing units and deed restrictions to reserve land for worker housing. For now, Lake Tahoe will be stuck with help-wanted signs and overpriced housing until significant change occurs.