South Tahoe, public envision the future of the ‘Y’
March 17, 2014
A plan to revitalize the South Lake Tahoe “Y” was discussed at a city planning commission meeting Thursday.
Project Planning Manager John Hitchcock updated commissioners on the Tahoe Valley Area Plan’s development and talked about the feedback city staff received from a Feb. 27 workshop.
About 60 people had attended the workshop, where they stressed the need for a strong and vibrant business district at the “Y” and the importance of maintaining a mountain identity and connecting neighborhoods through a network of trails and sidewalks and access to transit facilities. They also called for business opportunities in the region that cater to residents and appeal to tourists.
Hitchcock relayed this information and more to city commissioners and seemed to agree that a new plan was needed.
“It’s high time we focused our efforts on this side of town,” he said.
According to Hitchcock, there are many purposes for adopting an area plan, including the opportunity to implement the community’s vision for the region and provide a comprehensive land use plan for Tahoe Valley.
But adopting the new plan would also better align the city’s vision with that of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Currently, several structures in the “Y” are old — some dating back to the 1960s.
New concepts for the area include the creation of a town center district, greenbelt district and healthcare campus district.
For the town center, considerations include the development of a hub of businesses and other activities around the Emerald Bay Road and Lake Tahoe Boulevard intersection.
The greenbelt would consist of enhancing the storm water system — partially located behind McDonald’s off Emerald Bay Road — and creating an open, multi-use recreational space with pedestrian amenities.
The healthcare campus district would involve bringing several health services into one location. Hitchcock said the city has been in talks with Barton Health about this concept.
Other considerations are also being formed for the area plan, including allowing two-story buildings at street frontage with more height towards the back.
Planning commissioner Tamara Wallace said she’s happy with the feedback the city has received.
“I’m so excited about this Tahoe Valley Area Plan,” she said, adding, “I was so pleased with the group that showed up on the 27th. It was such a great group and they did such a good job.”
The Area Plan is still in its plan development stage. It will eventually enter a environmental analysis and public circulation period, followed by appearances in front of the city council and TRPA in November and December, respectively, according to the current schedule.
If adopted, the plan would become effective next February.