Developer seeks zoning change |

Developer seeks zoning change

Robert Stern

A developer planning to build a disabled affordable housing project on Emerald Bay Road will go before the South Lake Tahoe Planning Commission for zoning approval Wednesday.

Accessible Space Inc., located in St. Paul, Minnesota, has submitted an application to the city of South Lake Tahoe that could allow for an 18-unit, $2.7 million project between 10th and 13th streets adjacent to Emerald Bay Road. The Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled is co-sponsoring the project.

Public hearings on the project have spawned debate during the last year. Some have argued the project would ruin the scenic corridor while others say the community has a need for the project. Accessible Space Inc., not the city, is applying for the zoning change as requested during a public workshop last January.

The zoning change would not limit the property to an affordable housing project. The proposed change, however, would allow for such a project.

Even with approval from the Planning Commission, the City Council and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board would both need to approve the zoning change before an application for the project could be accepted by the planning department.

The property as zoned now allows for a limited number of single family homes or a school. A church or outdoor recreation center are among projects that could be considered if applied for, according to the plan area statement.

But even if Accessible Space Inc. is successful in the zoning change, it still has funding issues to work out. Accessible Space Inc. was denied $1.7 million in federal grant funding for the project last year. But it hopes to score more competitively on the application this time around since it now has ownership of the proposed site, which it purchased for $160,000.

Accessible Space Inc. is expected to get a response on the federal funding this fall.

The city of South Lake Tahoe, pending City Council approval, will then apply for $1 million in state funding for the project also this fall.

What: Planning Commission Meeting

When: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Where: City Council Chambers 1900, Lake Tahoe Blvd.

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