Meyers community weighs in on plan
Residents and interested people packed the Lake Tahoe Magnet School cafeteria Wednesday night as El Dorado County held a breakout session on the updated Meyers Area Plan.
County staff manned a dozen stations, each speaking on a different element of the Meyers plan, whether it was development or recreation.
Some jotted down ideas about what should be done to improve the unincorporated community, while others preferred no change at all.
The Meyers plan addresses concerns by residents regarding the future development of the area, and would update the 1993 Meyers Community Plan.
The plan is in its third draft and proposes limiting most new building heights to 35 feet. A proposed incentive measure could allow building height up to 45 feet it adds some type of community or environmental benefit.
Meyers’ zoning would be updated and streamlined along both county and Tahoe Region Planning Agency (TRPA) guidelines to foster a walkable community, promote the town’s uniqueness and overhaul design standards.
Some residents appeared satisfied with a process that’s been contentious and argued for years.
“I think this has been needed for a long time,” said Meyers resident Amanda Adams.
Adams said the plan provides guidelines for development and recreation and to improve Meyers, though there are a few caveats.
“It seems like it’s pulling in a lot of different directions because of all the groups involved,” Adams said. “It could be a little more clear and directed.”
John Dayberry, a member of the Meyers Community Council, said after three years of working on the plan, it’s nearly 97-percent complete.
“It’s been recognized by all the groups as one of the best sustainable plans in the Basin,” Dayberry said. “This meeting is because we are hung up on two things, which are density and height.”
Jan Roman-Gonzales, however, was disappointed by the workshop’s format.
Instead of a promised sit-down where El Dorado County Third District Supervisor Brian Veerkamp would make opening remarks and allow residents to voice their opinions, the information was scattered.
Veerkamp represents the Board of Supervisors regarding the Meyers Area Plan in place of Sue Novasel, whose district includes Meyers.
“They changed the format at the last minute and said it would be a better one,” Roman-Gonzales said. “They’re not giving us an opportunity to have our voices heard and let us vote on it.”
She had concerns about how comments collected on poster paper would be recorded and disseminated.
Zoning was also an issue for Roman-Gonzales, especially height restrictions under the proposed incentive measure in the draft area plan.
“It’s all just random and ambiguous and allows for development to come in that we may not want, like a timeshare,” Roman-Gonzales said. “It’s like the hole at Stateline.”
Rebecca Bryson said the plan appeared to fit within the appropriate goal for Meyers.
“It brings the buildings up closer so it gives a sense of community when you drive through,” Bryson said. She said living just off Pioneer Trail and giving directions to many people, they usually pass through it without knowing it.
“We have a real good chance to make it a quaint town,” Bryson said.
Veerkamp, the county supervisor, called the turnout a good sign that gave the community a good chance to engage planners and among themselves.
He said all comments and suggestions collected during the open house will be cataloged and taken into account.
“I’m a firm believer in that we need to listen to what the community wants,” Veerkamp said. “If I read through the comments and two thirds are positive and see the other ones are negative, maybe we facilitate something to help with those.”
However, Veerkamp acknowledges the plan wouldn’t fit everyone’s idea of perfect.
“You’re not going to make everyone happy,” he said. “This plan certainly allows them to create their own destiny and give advice to the county on a place they want to live in.”
For more information on the Meyers Area Plan, it’s available online at http://www.edcgov.us/meyers.
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