Commission pushes to slightly reduce redevelopment area |

Commission pushes to slightly reduce redevelopment area

Adam Jensen
Annie Flanzraich / Tahoe Daily TribuneThe South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission rejected the City Council's idea to eliminate the green portion of the redevelopment area. It did, however, remove the yellow portion - six parcels along Winnemucca Avenue - due to legal reasons.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission recommended to shrink a proposed redevelopment area centered at the “Y” on Friday, but only by six parcels.

Earlier this month, the city council directed staff to examine the removal of a section of proposed Redevelopment Area No. 2 between the Upper Truckee River and Al Tahoe Boulevard.

City Councilman Jerry Birdwell made the motion, saying it could help alleviate concerns from the South Tahoe Public Utility District and El Dorado County regarding the proposed redevelopment area.

Changing the area’s boundaries required staff to go back to the planning commission for a recommendation.

And on Friday, planning commissioners said they felt the area along Highway 50 between the Upper Truckee River and Al Tahoe Boulevard was too in need of redevelopment to leave out.

“If you drive through there, it probably has more needs than there are above Al Tahoe,” Commissioner Joy Curry said.

Commission Chair Michael Berg agreed.

“I’m personally not comfortable reducing the size of this redevelopment area,” Berg said.

The commission unanimously approved a recommendation to the city council that six parcels along Winnemucca Avenue, five under county jurisdiction and one under the city’s, be removed from the proposed redevelopment area.

Removing the five county parcels was a necessary recommendation because the parcels are not under city jurisdiction and were mistakenly included in the redevelopment area, said Eugene Palazzo, Director of the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency.

The one parcel under the city’s jurisdiction recommended for removal would become a redevelopment island if the city council approves removal of the five county parcels.

Also at Friday’s meeting, commissioners took aim at South Tahoe Public Utility District and El Dorado County.

Both entities have said they could lose revenue if the redevelopment area is not as successful in promoting economic growth as proponents predict.

Concerns from the public utility district are “very selfish,” Curry said.

Commissioner Geraldine Grego said she was unsympathetic to the concerns of the county because of their approval of the Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs, which opened in December 2008.

“I don’t see that they were very concerned when they approved the Indian casino,” Grego said.

She said the approval “devastated our economy.”

Whether the city council will follow the commission’s recommendation will be discussed during the council’s May 4 meeting.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Discussion on and possible approval of the proposed redevelopment area is schedule for 10 a.m. The council meets at Lake Tahoe Airport at 1901 Airport Road.

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