Meyers project looks like a go |

Meyers project looks like a go

Rick Chandler

The permits are on the table, and all systems are go so far for an ambitious plan to create a senior citizens’ center in Meyers.

An Oregon developer who wants to renovate the old Meyers Hotel and convert it into an assisted-care facility has recently obtained the required permits from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The $3 million plan – which would provide much-needed senior housing in the Tahoe Basin – still has to clear the El Dorado County Planning Department, where an application is pending.

“It looks good,” said Mike Dill of Aspen Environmental, which is handling the construction for Arnett and Associates of Portland, Ore. Dill reported on the project’s progress at the Meyers Community Round Table meeting on Wednesday. “The community is really behind the project, which is great.”

Construction crews have already begun inside renovations on the building, situated behind businesses at Yank’s Station. The site was last used by the California Conservation Corps, and has been vacant since 1996.

“I think this project really speaks to the personal and economic needs of the community,” Dill said. “From people I’ve talked to, there’s a need for more than 500 (senior housing) beds in South Lake Tahoe alone.”

According to a 1997 market study, there is indeed a need for senior housing here. There are about 1,400 senior units by the lake, but the study said there is a need for 131 low-income apartments.

The Meyers center would cater mostly to upper-income seniors, but some low-cost units would also be included if an allotment from the state can be obtained. The assisted-living center would have 45 studio and one-bedroom apartments, and the two existing free-standing buildings would be connected.

Developer Paul Arnett, who operates six such facilities in Portland and Redmond, Ore., is behind the operation.

“I think (the proposed project) is a beautiful use for the facility,” said Meyers Round Table Chair Sue Yang. “Our community has been nervous for quite some time, wondering what the property would eventually be used for. This senior center is wonderful.”

Yang also had praise for the TRPA, which would not issue a permit without community approval.

“The TRPA wasn’t required to do that,” Yang said. “But they included us in the process, and we’re very impressed with that cooperation.”

Arnett hopes to start exterior renovation in May.

Also discussed at Wednesday’s Round Table was a proposal to build a post office on U.S. Highway 50 at Apache Trail, which is still in the early planning stages. Community residents voiced concerns over possible traffic flow in the area, and the proposal will be sent back to the city for more study.

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