South Lake Tahoe pauses $1k fines, wants visitors back soon

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — When COVID-19 first hit, South Lake Tahoe City Council took swift and aggressive action to slow the spread in the city, including putting in place the $1,000 citation for violating the state’s stay at home order.

Now, with Barton Health bulking up their bed space and El Dorado County and the state moving through the reopening phases, the council is ready to get the city back to normal (or as normal as possible).

During their May 28 meeting, the council voted to formally relax the citation for second homeowners. They also gave direction to the SLT Police Department to stop giving those citations to any visitors.

Councilmember Cody Bass said that in the beginning, the city needed to protect their local residents but two months later they need to shift gears from turning people away to supporting local businesses.

He wants community service officers to make sure businesses are keeping people safe and he’s been impressed with businesses self regulating.

The council realizes that casinos in Nevada will be opening next week so the city needs to prepare for people to come and stay in the region, although California has not yet allowed lodging to reopen.

They will formalize this decision during their June 9 meeting.

Bass also said he’d like the city to be in lock step with the county and state so that when lodging does open, the council won’t need to meet, it will automatically open in the city.

The city is reopening parks, boat ramps and city facilities. Bathrooms at parks will be cleaned three times a day and will still be closed overnight. Campgrounds, picnic areas and playgrounds are still closed.

The city also approved an urgency ordinance that would relax regulations regarding temporary signage, building permit fees, and outdoor restaurant seating due to COVID-19.

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