Council approves paid parking areas
Ryan Summerlin December 11, 2012
The South Lake Tahoe City Council approved several additional paid parking areas Tuesday, but the controversial issue is expected to be back in front of the council next month.
The council designated the Regan Beach parking lot, Venice Drive east of Tahoe Keys Boulevard and Lakeshore Boulevard Tuesday as areas where the city could install pay and park kiosks in the future.
Council members voted to remove Ski Run Boulevard south of Lake Tahoe Boulevard to Pioneer Trail from the areas where the kiosks could be installed.
Mayor Tom Davis was the lone dissenting vote in the possible expansion of paid parking.
Most residents who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting continued to voice opposition to expanding paid parking, saying they are concerned about parking impacts to neighborhoods and businesses, and questioning whether the city’s revenue projections from paid parking are correct.
Several people, including representatives from city labor groups, said they supported expanding metered parking in the city. The city could be forced to cut more jobs if it doesn’t find ways to increase its general fund revenue.
“This city has cut as close to the bone as it can get,” City Councilwoman Claire Fortier said.
Following previous protests from residents, the council chose not to implement a parking permit system in neighborhoods near new parking meter areas. The neighborhood parking permits were intended to encourage visitors to use the nearby paid parking areas and decrease parking impacts to residents.
Previous city projections put revenue from the expansion of paid parking at $312,900 a year. Without the residential program, it would be just under $127,000 annually, according to new estimates.
But without a residential parking permit system in neighborhoods near parking meters, there is a worry that people who would otherwise pay to park are likely to look for parking in neighborhoods, decreasing revenue to the city and increasing parking problems in neighborhoods.
City Councilman Hal Cole said the residential parking permits should be free to residents, but said some kind of residential parking permit program is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the paid parking expansion.
The neighborhood parking permit issue is expected to be back in front of the City Council at their Jan. 8 meeting.
Designating Paradise Avenue and Ski Run Boulevard between Pioneer Trail and Saddle Road as parking meter zones is also expected to be discussed at the January meeting.
Paving parking along Lakeshore Avenue will also be on the agenda. Parking along the street would need to be paved for paid parking to be effective there. Jim Marino, the city’s capital improvement program manager, said he expected the project could be done by city staff and could be completed in time for summer.
Lakeside Park Association representatives have voiced opposition to the possibility of installing paid parking on Lakeshore Boulevard.