The South Lake Tahoe City Council gave initial approval to designating more paid parking areas in town Tuesday, but dropped part of a proposal that could have seen parking permits required in several neighborhoods.
Police and Fire Chief Brian Uhler acknowledged paid parking proposals have been met with stiff opposition from residents, but urged the council to support the parking management program, saying it is part of the city making the best use of its assets.
The council voted 3-2 to move forward with designating Lakeshore Boulevard from Stateline Avenue to Park Avenue, Ski Run Boulevard from Lake Tahoe Boulevard to Pioneer Trail and Venice Drive east of Tahoe Keys Boulevard as parking meter zones. Pasadena, Oakland, Sacramento, Nevada and Fresno avenues north of Lakeview Avenue and the Regan Beach parking lot are also included as parking meter areas under the proposal.
The parking management plan will be back in front of the council at its next meeting Dec. 11. The council could give final approval to the plan then.
Councilmen Tom Davis and Bruce Grego voted against the proposal. Grego said he is concerned about impacts to businesses near areas with paid parking. Paid parking could also drive visitors elsewhere, Davis said.
Several business representatives expressed similar concerns.
Rip N Willies owner Tom D'Louhy said he is concerned about the impacts from paid parking on Ski Run Boulevard businesses and said the entire city, not just certain areas, should be responsible for adding to the city's bottom line.
"I think we're headed in the wrong direction," D'Louhy said.
The city has already programed $300,000 into its budget from the expansion of paid parking and could have to eliminate firefighter or police positions without the money from the proposed parking program, said Councilwoman Angela Swanson. She said she wasn't happy about approving more paid parking, but said the revenue-generating measure is the direction the city needs to head.
Councilman Hal Cole said he also has concerns with charging people to park, but said the number of new revenue sources to the city outside of paid parking is limited.
"The impacts are going to be pretty great," Cole added. "What are we going to do to backfill it?"