Grant moves forward for parking lot
The El Dorado Beach boat ramp users might be getting more parking, courtesy of the California Tahoe Conservancy.
On March 6, the South Lake Tahoe City Council voted to submit a grant application to the Conservancy for money to tear down the Timber Lake Inn and construct a parking lot. The destruction of the inn, located at 993 San Jose Avenue across from the boat ramp’s present parking lot, would also help alleviate the parking shortage at Harrison Avenue, city planners said.
If the project is approved, the Conservancy would retain all tourist accommodation units and residential units. All land coverage could be used to benefit Environmental Improvement Projects, which could be done later.
The issue of adequate parking on Harrison Avenue has been discussed for years, and business owners have been resistant to improvement projects on the street because of the loss of parking such projects could create. But the proposed parking lot at the Timber Lake Inn site is a project Harrison Avenue business owners support.
“I really do think it’s money well spent,” said Tyler Cannon, owner of Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe, 3123 Harrison Ave.
“Any other business has to have adequate parking and so should the city,” he said of the El Dorado County boat ramp.
He also said the parking lot would increase beach access on the South Shore, and it would provide a link to the existing bike path with future bike paths.
Although the immediate plan looks good to the city, further investigation will determine if the project will be affordable.
“I think the good certainly outweighs the risk on this one,” said Councilwoman Brooke Laine.
Associate City Planner Lisa O’Daly learned shortly before the City Council voted to apply for the grant that the Timber Lake Inn has some permanent residents. The city will need to determine whether this would have any financial impact on the project.
“It feels premature to draw any conclusions today,” O’Daly said on Thursday.
The city will have until April 20 to rescind its grant application.
The city still has not made an offer to the owners of the Timber Lake Inn and will not be able to make a formal offer until grant funding becomes available.
Because of the grant schedule, the soonest the parking lot project could begin would be in the 2002 building season.
The owner of the Timber Lake Inn, however, is considering a condominium project and has indicated that time is a factor, but a deadline to purchase the property is not yet known, O’Daly said.
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