Another plan for Harrison Avenue |

Another plan for Harrison Avenue

Without the two-thirds consent it needs from Harrison Avenue business owners, the city will look to “Plan B” to improve the business district.

Plan B will be presented to business owners at a meeting this morning.

South Lake Tahoe and the Harrison Avenue Business District have been working for four years on plans to revamp the area on the lake side of U.S. Highway 50 from El Dorado Beach to the former Encore Restaurant.

The area would be landscaped and furnished with new curbs and gutters, parking, and a sidewalk, according to Mary Kay McLanahan, associate planner. These improvements, as part of “Plan A,” would also include diagonal parking.

The improvements were to be paid for through a public/private partnership with the business owners and the city.

However, several business owners have complained the project won’t help their businesses and the city has fallen short in the two-thirds majority needed to move the project forward despite a City Council decision in November to foot the entire $39,000 bill for designing Phase I of the project.

At the Nov. 17 council meeting, various property owners, especially those in the district closer to El Dorado Beach, said the project would actually hurt their businesses.

Bob Koser, who owns the Arcay Building north of Tallac Avenue, said he doesn’t support Plan A.

Koser said that although the business district will gain more parking spaces because of a land swap for a parcel next to the Tahoe Daily Tribune , only the area by the newspaper will benefit. Koser said his building will lose parking while the businesses nearer to the Sno-Flake drive in will gain parking.

McLanahan said Plan B will not cost the Harrison Avenue businesses any money.

California Tahoe Conservancy funds will be incorporated into the project as it will include a bike trail through the district. Remaining funds will come from the California Department of Transportation and the city’s Capital Improvement Project contingency.

Koser said the businesses have been opposed to a bike lane because it would decrease parking.

Koser likened the new plan with the bike lane to extortion. He said the city is trying to force the property owners to pay for the improvements with the threat of a bike lane and only parallel parking in the new plan.

“They’re just taking away one piece after another and holding it over our heads,” Koser said.

McLanahan said a third option for the business district is to come up with their own plan and try to get it approved and pay for it themselves. McLanahan admitted this was a long shot and said the city probably wouldn’t support another plan considering the time spent on developing the current one.

Representatives from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, California Tahoe Conservancy, the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Judy Brown will attend Monday’s meeting at 10 a.m. in the Art Building next to the Chamber.

Who: Harrison Avenue Business District

When: 10 a.m., today

Where: The Art Building (next to South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce)

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