Meyers community plan to streamline development moves forward
MEYERS, Calif. — Imagine Meyers showcasing cleaner building designs, new bike paths and improved pedestrian access. Each of the possibilities is envisioned for the largely residential community below Echo Summit in the Meyers Area Plan. But opponents of the plan worry it could lead to development that would change Meyers from a sleepy town to a bustling tourist destination.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 at a meeting Monday, Aug. 31, to push the Meyers Area Plan to the environmental review stage. The comprehensive land-use document, now in its fourth draft, would streamline building development, set height restrictions for buildings, and limit how many hotel and apartment units can be developed on one acre. The plan outlines zoning and design standards, incentives for builders, and focuses on community goals — like an expanded network of bike paths and U.S. Highway 50 corridor improvements.
According to the plan, building heights would be restricted to 42 feet, or around three stories. Development will be set at 30 hotel and/or vacation rental units per acre and 20 apartment units per acre.
Meyers residents, like Joe Cardinale, offered concerns at Monday’s meeting regarding limitations in public involvement during the plan’s development. Cardinale also said the plan doesn’t quite fit into the Meyers community.
“Meyers is a bedroom community; it’s not South Lake Tahoe,” Cardinale told supervisors. “Residents come out here to live because it’s quiet and peaceful to bike.”
Kenny Curtzwiler, a longtime South Tahoe resident and business owner, said that while people want to see development, the Meyers Area Plan deserves more local input.
“We have a community out there that gets involved,” Curtzwiler said.
Other business leaders at Monday’s meeting vocally supported the decision to move forward with the plan, noting that projects in Meyers will likely be locally driven, not envisioned by big developers.
Betty “B” Gorman, president of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said area residents are behind many Meyers-based projects.
“What the plan will do is provide some certainty for folks who are already invested to improve [Meyers] in some way,” Gorman said.
Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, in voting, said he understood concerns about return on investment regarding plan costs and development. However, after three years, the plan should move forward. Supervisor Shiva Frentzen opposed the next step, citing concerns over continued costs and return on investment. Supervisor Sue Novasel, who represents Meyers and South Lake Tahoe, recused herself because of property ownership in the community.
Brendan Ferry, an associate planner with El Dorado County, said an environmental analysis may take six to 18 months and cost up to $100,000. A smaller study could be done “in house” and cost much less.
For more information about the Meyers Area Plan, visit http://www.edcgov.us/Meyers.