Erosion control: Sierra Tract boulders were just first phase |

Erosion control: Sierra Tract boulders were just first phase

The next phase of a Sierra Tract erosion control project – where large boulders were used to block parking – is up for discussion today at 2 p.m. in the council chambers at 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

The city Public Works Department is expected to bring the 84-acre project’s environmental impact report to the public hearing for review. Staff is expected to push the matter to March 1 to allow for more time to respond to resident responses.

The city has collected input on the environmental documents it hopes to certify. The $1.7 million water-quality project calls for installing storm drain lines and basins, planting native grasses and setting boulders on the sides of the roads in the project area – O’Malley and Charles drives, Martin, Marjorie, William and Young streets as well as Elwood, Armstrong and Blue Lake avenues.

The city will move on to the second of four phases.

The improvements are intended to meet a Tahoe Regional Planning Agency mandate for best management practices due by October. The thought among watershed restoration specialists is barren dirt parking spaces contribute more water pollutants than any other factor at Lake Tahoe because sediment runs in the lake. BMPs are intended to trap or redirect polluting runoff.

But last summer, the placement of boulders measuring 2 to 5 feet across next to many lawns and around the Farmers Markets venue at the American Legion parking lot caused a stir and clashes in the neighborhood over mainly the safety hazard. The rocks didn’t necessarily deter motorists from parking on the road. Drivers who park next to the boulders only leave their vehicles in the road.

Area resident Janet Cavallaro, who has identified herself as a natural resources conservationist, wrote the city an 11-page letter that pokes holes in the viability of the project.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


National Forest visits soared in 2020


New data shows more people than ever visited national forests and grasslands last year, according to a U.S. Forest Service report recently released. National forests and grasslands received 168 million visits in 2020 — an…

See more