City gets tough on trash |

City gets tough on trash

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Lake Tahoe businesses and homeowners who repeatedly leave their trash strewn and scattered may experience a loss in more than waste.

The City Council approved in a 4-0 vote Tuesday night the first reading of an enhanced trash ordinance that may lead to property liens if garbage and refuse bills are ignored. Councilman Tom Davis was absent.

A second reading is necessary for complete passage.

The beefed-up code takes direct aim at repeat offenders, requiring a maximum week’s worth of garbage accumulated and a minimum of one trash collection a week for restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and other businesses generating food waste.

The added frequency may cause some to see their refuse bills double or triple, city Code Enforcement Officer Tom Donley said.

If bills are not paid within 180 days, the mandatory service requirement allows South Tahoe Refuse to levy liens.

Other measures include changing the trash collection date for properties on Pioneer Trail between Ski Run and Lake Tahoe boulevards from Monday to Friday. In addition, refuse containers that fail to keep animals from the garbage may be ordered by city or county officials replaced by the property owner.

“The focus was not to make it mandatory for everybody,” said Councilwoman Judy Brown, who sat on the trash ordinance subcommittee consisting of many members of the community.

But five advocates of the BEAR League, one who said she was disappointed the League was excluded from the meetings, told the council the ordinance fails to go far enough to address a serious problem.

They recommended the city adopt an amended ordinance modeled after Placer and El Dorado counties.

The latter recently passed an ordinance making bear-resistant trash containers mandatory for new structures.

BEAR League Ann Bryant told the council this requirement is “vital” to keeping black bears out of the trash, a problem that could escalate as the animals move to find food around the county.

“This is ongoing. It’s not going to stop until you have an adequate ordinance,” Bryant said, adding the one proposed “does not address sufficiently the bear problem.”

But Donley told the council the across-the-board requirement is “overkill” that would place an expensive, extra financial burden on new construction costs.

In other business: the council decided to:

–Approve an enhanced sign ordinance that cracks down on illegal signs such as banners and A-frames that dot the sidewalks of South Lake Tahoe.

–Award a bid to Carlson Construction of Minden to repave the Tahoe Keys area, including the Keys Boulevard, Venice and Dover drives.

–Continue the discussion of awarding a bid to a contracting firm to build the Park Avenue transit center.

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