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Some Paradise residents still not happy with Lower Rock Creek development

December 7, 2012

Paradise residents voiced their ire Tuesday about a subdivision and trailhead design on Lower Rock Creek Road that they say is making the road dangerous in the winter.

At issue is a fence that developer John Hooper, who lives on the property at the site of the old Paradise Lodge and Resort, built to funnel hikers from a parking lot to a trailhead.

The problem, some residents said Tuesday at a Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting, is that the way the fence was built precludes effective snow removal from the roadside. The snow then melts and runs across the sloping roadbed—which is not a problem until it freezes.

The road then gets icy, especially at night. The whole problem is compounded by the fact that the area where the fence is built is on a hair-pin curve that is so abrupt, it often startles drivers, who are often going too fast for the road conditions when they hit the curve.

It’s already a very dangerous spot on the road, residents said, and the ice makes it even more dangerous.
The road crosses Lower Rock Creek at the site, and the popular trailhead to Lower Rock Creek and the parking lot are on opposing sides of the creek, meaning hikers have to walk alongside the narrow, winding road to get from their cars to the trailhead. The fence was built to keep hikers separated from the road.

The whole thing should have been solved long ago, said the area’s county supervisor, Duane “Hap” Hazard.
“I couldn’t believe we were still talking about this,” he said. “We knew about this problem last year. We should have solved it before this winter.”

He pushed the board to send the issue back to the county and Hooper for a solution, then bring it up again in January when the new supervisor-elects join the board.

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