The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency voted last month to approve Heavenly Ski Resort’s expansion plan. But conservationists like Autumn Bernstein with the Sierra Nevada Alliance say the TRPA didn’t comply with California’s public meeting law.
"Several board members were participating via phone that actually got cut off and a road was closed the day before due to a storm so people weren’t able to get to the hearing to express their opinions on the project."
Julie Regan with the planning agency says plenty of people were at the meeting. In fact it was a standing-room-only crowd.
"We believe we’re complying completely with our open meeting law requirements but we want to be taking the high road and making sure that there is no question remaining about the legitimacy of the vote."
At the heart of the controversy is Heavenly’s plan to replace two aging ski lifts with a high-speed quad lift. The project would require removing more than 1,100 trees, some of them old growths. The TRPA will re-hear the plan on April 25th.