Paid parking on South Lake Tahoe agenda |

Paid parking on South Lake Tahoe agenda

Tom Lotshaw

South Lake Tahoe’s paid parking program comes to a head Tuesday, when City Council will decide how to handle the issue.

The Tahoe 4 Tahoe group has gathered enough signatures to put its proposed initiative to prohibit paid parking on most city streets on the ballot at the next regular municipal election.

Meanwhile, South Lake Tahoe City Attorney Tom Watson has found past superior and appellate court rulings indicating that cities’ paid parking programs cannot be overturned through the initiative process.

The City Council has several options, Watson wrote in a pre-meeting memo. It could place the measure on the ballot and leave any decisions about challenging its legality to a future date, or place it on the ballot and bring a pre-election suit to challenge its legality. The city could refuse to place the measure on the ballot and defend any challenge that may arise. The city could adopt the initiative or the city and the group could try to negotiate to modify the paid parking program, or the city could order a fiscal impact report on the initiative before moving it to the ballot. The report is estimated to cost $25,000 to $35,000. That option is the course of action being recommended by Watson and City Manager Nancy Kerry.

“After that study is completed, the City Council will be faced with the decision of whether or not to place the parking initiative on the Nov. 4, 2014, ballot. At that time, it is recommended that a closed session be undertaken to discuss the legal options of the city,” Watson writes in the memo.

In other business, the South Lake Tahoe City Council will get a requested presentation from California Tahoe Conservancy about its Tahoe Livable Communities Program.

The program aims to acquire developed property on environmentally sensitive lands and retire or transfer the development rights to town centers.

Over the next 10 years, the conservancy will try to acquire 230 hotel rooms and 132,000 square feet of commercial space, at an estimated cost of about $52 million.

In other business, the City Council considers a policy to evaluate requests from people who want to modify or add amenities to city parks and two resolutions that would increase spending limits of the city manager to $50,000 and the city attorney to $25,000.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at 1901 Airport Road. It is open to the public.

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