LETTER TO THE EDITOR: El Dorado Beach eyesore
El Dorado Beach really sparkled this summer. It was a postcard perfect scene with lush green grass, happy picnickers, joyful children, all set against the spectacular backdrop of the world’s most beautiful lake. You couldn’t drive by without being filled with good thoughts about South Lake Tahoe.
Then, while tourists were still flocking here, construction fences and ugly orange safety netting went up. Next, all that wonderful carpet of green grass was torn up. Just a temporary inconvenience? No, this eyesore is going to be with us for at least a year, while the courts sort out a badly drafted contract, irregular bidding practices, unpaid work and future litigation.
Recently, a member of the City Council made a truly bizarre public statement that medical marijuana dispensaries are more of a threat than the Angora fire that destroyed 254 homes, caused $141 million in damage and cost $11.7 million to fight. A better comparison to the devastation created by the June 2007 fire is our own City Council, which destroyed 44 businesses, demolished 577 rooms, and then created a 12-acre crater right in the middle of town. Damages from ongoing litigation over the crater cannot be estimated, but our City Council has already incurred $200 million in redevelopment bond debt that will be with us for at least 45 years.
From now on, when we drive by the eyesore at El Dorado Beach, or the ugly crater across from the Gondola, or the rotting pile of concrete on the way to Heavenly’s Nevada side, we will be painfully reminded that redevelopment has been a monumental disaster for our city.
It is time for the South Lake Tahoe City Council to get out of the redevelopment business and focus instead on basic services like repairing our badly aging streets, shoddy sidewalks and dangerous bike paths.
South Lake Tahoe
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