City appoved rezoning for disable housing project |

City appoved rezoning for disable housing project

Susan Wood

A Gardner Mountain housing complex for the disabled is one step closer to reality after the South Lake Tahoe City Council voted Tuesday to approve rezoning for the project.

But Tata Lane resident Roger Livesay said Wednesday he’s disappointed in the council’s action. He plans to take his objections to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency when the proposed 18,000-square-foot facility comes up for approval.

Livesay wrote a letter to the City Council stating his opposition to rezoning 3 acres at 714 and 750 Emerald Bay Road to pave the way for the low-income housing complex. He also circulated a petition door-to-door and gathered 456 signatures.

“First, I would agree that disabled housing and housing for the low-income members of our community is needed, but I do not believe that the Emerald Bay Road location is the appropriate location for high density, multifamily housing,” Livesay wrote. “This I feel would be most detrimental to the residental neighborhood of Gardner Mountain and to the tourism oriented businesses on Emerald Bay Road.”

Project provisions outlined Tuesday night by city planner Lisa O’Daly include preserving the forested character of the area, masking the building to blend with the environment and upgrading the closest bus stop to accommodate physically challenged residents.

“That’s why we picked this site. It’s close to public transportation,” said Matt Crellin, a spokesman for Accessible Space, Inc.

Accessible Space, based in St. Paul, Minn., specializes in housing for the disabled, having built 60 complexes in 20 years across the United States.

“We feel there’s enough demand in a town of this size,” he said.

Although the zoning reclassification may allow for eight units per acre, Crellin emphasized the company’s plan to limit the construction to 18 one- or two-bedroom units. It’s uncertain whether the structure will be one or two stories.

He estimates the project will cost about $2.5 million.

ASI will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but unlike Section 8 housing funds, the monies are paid on the unit, not the person.

Accessible Space works with specialty designers who lay out common apartment units, with the exception of roll-in showers and roll-under kitchen countertops.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.