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March 22, 2014
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Meyers continues area plan efforts

A couple hundred people who gathered to discuss the draft Meyers Area Plan seemed to agree on at least one thing Wednesday.

Nearly all hands shot up when El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago asked if building heights in the unincorporated community should be limited to 35 feet.

Planners with El Dorado County and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency received about 100 comments after a Feb. 26 meeting on the draft area plan. A handful of themes emerged, they said.

Concerns generally focus on height and density standards, an incentive program for developers, allowable locations for hotels, and the make-up of an advisory board to review development projects and make recommendations to county officials.

Several proposed changes based on those themes were pitched to the crowd for a show of support or opposition. The county will continue to seek input on them in coming weeks, planners said.

Options included limiting building height to 30, 35 or 40 feet. The 35-foot-limit is what is already spelled out in the draft area plan. It’s also 7 feet less than the height allowed under an existing Meyers Community Plan adopted in 1993. Some people proposed a height variance for well-supported community projects, such as a climbing wall.

Options to possibly amend or scrap a two-tiered incentive program in the area plan also were proposed.

A first tier waives commercial floor area fees if projects meet specified community and environmental goals. A second allows buildings up to 45 feet and 10 more hotel rooms or five more apartments per acre if projects meet all of those first-tier goals and more.

Ongoing questions about hotels includes where they should be allowed and in what densities. The draft area plan allows hotels in a town center boundary and the Upper Truckee residential and tourist districts, a broader area than the existing community plan. It allows up to 30 rooms per acre or up to 40 rooms per acre if projects meet the community incentive program.

Proposed changes include reducing hotel densities to 15 rooms per acre, following the existing community plan that allows hotels only in an already built-out east end of Meyers at densities up to 40 rooms per acre, or not allowing hotels anywhere in Meyers.

Only 27 tourist accommodation units, or hotel rooms, are presently available for development in Meyers. Any other units would have to transferred in from other areas where hotels are torn down.

Another idea is to prioritize redevelopment over new development, possibly by allocating some share of the 33,650-square-feet of commercial floor area available in Meyers for such projects. Half of that CFA already would be set aside for small projects of less than 2,500 square feet with a revision to prevent “double dipping” for large projects.

The proposed advisory council would be made up of seven people appointed by the county supervisors, with at least two people each representing recreation, business and environmental groups. The council would be open to county residents with preference given to people living or owning property in the area plan boundary.

Some Meyers residents are pushing for additional public meetings like Wednesday’s to further refine the plan.

County officials have not announced if another will be held. For now they encourage people to read the area plan, send in comments and fill out surveys, all of which can be done on the county website. The goal is to issue another draft of the plan based on public comments, all of which are published online, and consider the plan for adoption this summer.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 26, 2014 01:55PM Published Mar 22, 2014 01:04AM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.