Council updates residential development codes

Laney Griffo


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — City council on Tuesday passed the first reading of an ordinance that would update residential development and design standard codes.

The biggest improvement is a consolidation of all residential codes, which were all over the place, into one streamlined location.

Other changes include streamlined fence and wall standards, reduced cantilever sizes, reduced parking requirements from two to one spots for new multi-family units and multi-family unit design standards.

A lot of the discussion was around bear boxes. While much community feedback asked for a bear box requirement, the planning commission recommended removing the requirement for single family units. Instead, language in the ordinance says trash should be stored in the house, garage or anywhere bears can’t access it.

Councilmember Cody Bass was concerned about liability if a bear breaks into a home or garage, especially with the increase of bears breaking into garages in the Tahoe Keys. However, the rest of the council was okay with the language and voted 4-1 to pass the first reading.

The council also received an update from South Tahoe Fire Rescue for 2020 operations. The department last year responded to 3,353 calls, including 2,083 medical emergencies, 856 public assistance calls, 232 false calls, 126 hazardous conditions, 53 fires and three weather related incidents.

The report also included staffing assignments and changes and department events from the prior year.

Clean Tahoe also gave its 2020 recap report. They cleaned up 538 cubic yards of litter which equates to six football fields covered in 3 feet of trash. They cleaned up 203 illegal dumps, 317 animals in trash incidents and cleaned 62 homeless encampments.

A first reading of a sidewalk vendor ordinance was unanimously approved. This would require permits for sidewalk vendors in the city. The fee structure has not yet been set but will likely be $150-$200 for a first time permit and $25-50 for a renewal.

Mayor pro tem Devin Middelbrook asked that the city make a map of where vendors are allowed, a one-pager explaining the ordinance that is translated to multiple languages for potential vendors.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 22 and will be a joint meeting with El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.

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