Agency finally allows sale of Cedarwood Lodge |

Agency finally allows sale of Cedarwood Lodge

For years, M. K. Desai has struggled with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to change the zoning of his property so he can sell it and move to the Bay Area.

After 14 years of operating the Cedarwood Lodge, his plea has been heard.

An application is being reviewed by the TRPA to convert the property from tourist accommodation units to a more universal designation, commercial floor area.

According to TRPA spokeswoman Pam Drum, the commercial floor area usage will be transferred to the old Wallace theater site at the “Y.” The area will be added to the amount needed for an Office Depot, which has a permit to build after demolition of the old Lakeside 4 Theater.

The agency recently adopted a new set of rules which now allows businesses to change their land-use designations in order to sell property to a completely different type of entity. Under the old standards this was not permitted so, as a result, businesses like motels could only sell to another motel owner.

“We have their (Cedarwood’s) application and there shouldn’t be any particular reason why this won’t go through,” Drum said. “The site (Cedarwood) can be used again, but if they transfer all of their commercial floor area, they will need to get some back to operate.”

Desai has no intention of using his land for another commercial purpose. His property is scheduled to close escrow this week for $450,000.

With the help of John Carrillo, a broker/agent for Prudential California Realty, Desai found the Kivelstadt Group to purchase the motel.

A San Francisco-based firm, the Kivelstadt Group locates commercial property for major shopping center stores. One of its clients is Office Depot, which solicited Carrillo to find a suitable piece of commercial property. Upon purchasing the movie theater site, the group needed more commercial floor area, so they decided to purchase the Cedarwood.

Negotiations are under way with Taco Bell, Inc., Carrillo said, to transfer the remaining floor area to the adjacent fast-food restaurant so they in turn could expand the facility. It is not determined when discussions will be finalized.

Taco Bell, Inc. could not be contacted as of press time.

Desai and his wife, Vilas, are going to buy a house in Brentwood, Calif., to be closer to their children.

“I will miss the weather here, but I won’t miss the prospects,” Vilas Desai said. “Our time here has been enough.”

Her husband agreed.

“I feel really frustrated with the TRPA,” he said. “We could have been gone a long time ago, but we had to struggle with them. I put all my years in a dream here. This is a main entrance for tourists and the first impression is the last impression. They could beautify Lake Tahoe, but there are just bad politics in this town.”

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