Council: Bijou golf parking lot contract sent back; Lime winter operations denied

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — An agreement between the city of South Lake Tahoe and the owner of the Bijou Golf Course parking lot has yet to be reached, delaying the opening of the golf course.

City Manager Joe Irvin and Lauren Thomaselli, parks and recreation director have been working with the parking lot’s owner Mary McCall but they’ve reached a standstill. Staff decided to put the item on Tuesday’s agenda in order to have the council weigh-in and move the item forward.

The city used to have a long-term agreement with the parking lot but in the last few decades has moved to short two-three-year leases. McCall told the council she felt the city took better care of the lot when they had a long-term agreement.

“You can’t really think that I feel respected by you guys leaving and attaching my cattle gates with plastic ties or not respecting my notices that have been in writing during the COVID period that there have been people living over there,” McCall said, adding that the city takes great care of the greens but doesn’t take care of garbage left in the parking lot.

Councilmembers John Friedrich and Cody Bass were recused from the item but the other three members agreed that if there was damage done because of the city’s use of the property, they wanted those items fixed.

For the city’s part, two main sticking points are the cost of the lease and that there is no out clause in the agreement.

“A long-term agreement with no out clause isn’t in the city’s best interest,” Irvin said.

McCall is asking for $6,000 more than the city has proposed per month stating that she has the right to remake the money for lost while the course was closed for COVID.

Councilmember Tamara Wallace said she wants staff to continue negotiations.

Council also approved a single-room occupancy fee waiver for the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless.

The SRO program allows hotels to provide affordable housing rentals, as long as the units are rehabilitated to meet minimum building, housing and property maintenance codes. Buildings participating in the program need to purchase a permit and pay other related fees, including an annual inspection fee.

TCH and the city have an agreement to address the issue of homelessness, as well as an agreement that TCH will rehabilitate and maintain the three properties they purchased through Project Homekey grant funding.

TCH was late on paying the SRO fee in summer 2021, so city staff recommended waiving the fee in the future, because of the nature of TCH’s work. While the council did approve the fee waiver, they did express disappointment in TCH being overdo for the last fee and that they didn’t attend the council meeting in person to ask for the fee waiver themselves.

Also during the meeting, the council decided against allowing Lime to extend their operations into winter after receiving a presentation.

Since coming to South Lake Tahoe in 2017, 823,984 trips have been taken by 282,636 riders. Those riders have traveled 921,700 miles and saved 9,000 gallons of gas.

Also since 2017, there has been one police report of an incident, 55 incidents of incorrect parking, 27 reports of unsafe driving and zero reports of vandalism, although in 2019, four scooters were used to vandalize other property.

Finally, the council approved an agreement with the Lake Tahoe Historical Society for improvements to the Al Tahoe Pioneer Cemetery.

The agreement states that city staff are responsible for the ownership and implementation of improvement projects, as well as annual maintenance. The Lake Tahoe Historical Society would serve as an advisory role for improvement projects.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 17.

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