Al Tahoe erosion-control project riles some residents
October 14, 2008
An erosion-control project under development by the city – which could include changes to parking and traffic flow in one South Lake Tahoe neighborhood – has upset some residents.
The Al Tahoe Erosion Control Project is one of five city projects moving forward under the auspices of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, said City Engineering Manager Stan Hill.
The project is a “high priority” because stormwater from parts of the neighborhood, especially Lakeview Avenue, drains directly to the lake “without any treatment whatsoever,” Hill said.
But some of the changes being considered under the proposal are not sitting well with some residents of the neighborhood.
The possibility of on-street diagonal parking and conversion of parts of Merced, San Jose, Alameda and San Francisco avenues into one-way streets would be detrimental to the quality of life in the neighborhood, said Al Tahoe resident Gloria Harootunian.
Such changes could ruin a residential neighborhood where currently “kids can play, and where you can find a place to park when you come home from work,” Harootunian said.
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Harootunian also suspects the project is a way to provide overflow parking for the nearby 56-Acre and Harrison Avenue projects, which still are in planning stages.
Planning for the projects has been funded by the California Tahoe Conservancy.
Peter Eichar, project manager for the CTC, said the projects were not related and said residents’ concerns still can be worked out during the ongoing development of the project.
“They are distinct projects, but there is coordination going on among them,” Eichar said. “Hopefully, we can identify any conflicts and resolve them accordingly.”
Nothing has been finalized regarding the erosion-control project, and there still are opportunities to change the plan before a preferred alternative is chosen, Hill said.
“We’re still quite a ways away from the design,” Hill said.
Hill and other project engineers plan to attend a meeting of concerned Al Tahoe residents Friday.
The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 15 at South Tahoe Middle School.
The engineer hopes to dispel what he considers misconceptions about the project as well as take input on the preferred alternative.
Hill described the release date of the draft preferred alternative as a “moving target” but said he expected the document to be released for public review “within a month.”
“We’ve been working on it now for probably a year and a half. Right now, we’re in the selection of the preferred alternative phase,” Hill said. “We’re looking at what alternative makes the most sense.”
Engineering staff also will give a status update on the erosion-control project at next week’s City Council meeting, Hill said.