Amid protests, Regan Beach parking remains free |

Amid protests, Regan Beach parking remains free

Adam Jensen
South Lake Tahoe resident Jordan Deas, 13, walks along Regan Beach Tuesday afternoon. Parking at the area will remain free following a Tuesday decision by the South Lake Tahoe City Council. Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Parking at and around Regan Beach will remain free, but additional paid parking is expected near El Dorado Beach following a Tuesday decision by the South Lake Tahoe City Council.

Amid continued concerns about the expansion of paid parking in the city, the council gave initial approval modifications to its parking program by a 4-1 vote Tuesday.

The changes remove a proposed parking meter zone from around Regan Beach while adding parking kiosks to streets and parking lots in the Al Tahoe neighborhood.

The new areas designated for paid parking include San Jose Avenue between Harrison and Riverside avenues, Riverside Avenue between Merced and Alameda avenues and Harrison Avenue between Lakeview and San Jose avenues. The EI Dorado Beach parking areas bordered by Lake Tahoe Boulevard, Lakeview Avenue and Harrison Avenue were also designated as parking meter zones by Tuesday’s decision.

The changes will be up for final approval at the council’s June 11 meeting.

City Manager Nancy Kerry said Tuesday’s changes came as a result of community input and said she thought they would be the last modifications to the city’s paid parking program.

The city has estimated the parking program will generate more than $100,000 annually, but opponents have said it won’t meet city expectations and will frustrate visitors.

Resident Carole Beller called the city’s investment in parking kiosks “completely foolish” and a “very, very bad business decision.”

Councilman Hal Cole said he was a big believer in implementing users fees at sites in the city as a way to fill gaps in the city’s budget and maintain recreational infrastructure in an era of diminished city budgets. JoAnn Conner asked opponents of paid parking to provide possible solutions, rather than insults, when approaching council members about the contentious issue.

Mayor Tom Davis was the lone council vote against the parking proposal.

“Everyone knows my opinion on paid parking. I don’t like it. I hate it,” Davis said.

The council should review the effectiveness of the program in the fall, Davis said. He said he would be the first to ax the program if it was shown to be ineffective.

In other news

The City Council approved a contract for a new city attorney Tuesday. Clovis, Calif., Attorney Thomas T. Watson will replace City Attorney Patrick Enright, who announced he would leave the city by the end of this month in November. Watson has served as city attorney for Visalia, Porterville, Lindsay, Mendota, Woodlake and Farmersville, according to his website.

His contract with the city is for three years. He will receive about $154,000 annually, plus benefits. He is expected to start as city attorney July 8.

Deputy City Attorney Nira Feeley will serve as the city attorney until then.

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