Paid parking headed to South Lake Tahoe voters
Ryan Summerlin February 19, 2014
South Lake Tahoe City Council is putting a measure on the June 3 ballot for voters to uphold or repeal parts of the city’s paid parking program.
The council unanimously approved the measure Tuesday morning. In exchange, members of the group Tahoe 4 Tahoe are withdrawing their broader ballot initiative to repeal paid parking.
If passed by voters, the city’s measure would repeal ordinances 1049, 1051 and 1054. Those ordinances expanded the city’s paid parking program to the Lakeview Commons parking lot, Lakeside Beach, Paradise Avenue and Venice Drive.
Paid parking would remain in place on Bellamy Court and Transit Way.
Repealing the program in those areas would have a financial impact, city officials said. That includes lost revenue from the paid parking kiosks and citations and $191,000 still owed for the kiosks the city bought.
If the repeal is approved by voters, it would take effect Aug. 31. That would leave the city time to continue collecting parking revenues and reduce the amount owed on the kiosks by another $48,000.
The city’s proposal is much less broad than the one proposed by Tahoe 4 Tahoe, which was found to be legally flawed because of state law that says citizen-driven initiatives cannot be used to overturn municipalities’ paid parking programs.
“I think it’s critical that voters decide this issue once and for all and that’s what this does,” councilman Tom Davis said.
Because the city is moving forward with its own measure, a fiscal impact study of Tahoe 4 Tahoe’s initiative can be scrapped. That study was estimated to cost up to $25,000.
The June election will cost the city up to $10,000, city officials cautioned.
In a separate meeting Tuesday evening, the South Lake Tahoe City Council was set to consider potential changes to the paid parking program. Some of the ideas up for consideration included annual parking passes for locals, reduced paid parking hours, reduced fines for parking violations and the removal of paid parking from certain areas such as Venice Drive.
In other business Tuesday morning, the City Council:
• Approved the waiver of a 60 day noticing period for El Dorado County to try to lease a building at 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd. for the Health and Human Services Agency.
• Authorized up to $750 in reimbursements for councilwoman Angela Swanson to attend meetings of the California League of Cities in Ontario, Calif., and Sacramento. Tom Davis and JoAnn Conner voted against the expenditure, questioning the value to the city.