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One more try for golf parking

Susan Wood

The city agreed Tuesday to meet with property owner Knox Johnson one last time to try to negotiate a lease for the parking lot of the nine-hole Bijou Golf Course.

No action was taken at the long City Council meeting. But during Tuesday’s council report on the $14,000-a-year lease that expired in November, Ted Long suggested Johnson was open to another round of talks.

“I have my doubts, but for the time we’ve spent, it’s worth doing,” Long said at the end of the public meeting.

Agreeing was Mayor Hal Cole, who serves on a golf course subcommittee with Long.

Johnson has strongly urged the council to make improvements on his property such as installing restrooms and possibly a community center and landscaping upgrades. Portable toilets exist there now.

The Carson Valley resident also said he wants the city to sign a long-term lease. But the city has remained reluctant to go into another lease agreement if it means footing the bill for improvements.

Cole also recommended putting on an upcoming agenda other plans such as moving golf course holes out of an environmentally sensitive area of the meadow.

Most of the 15-acre golf course is considered a stream environment zone, but the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has told Cole it wants to be accommodating in moving three holes that cover the northern end of the meadow. There, a large pool collects every winter next to Fairway Avenue, the entrance road where the city is suggesting golf course users park. City police Chief Don Muren confirmed offroad parking is allowed on the Bijou area street.

But that doesn’t quite satisfy nearby residents. A few people doubt it would work out. So Long suggested a few community meetings on the subject.

Johnson, who has leased the land to the city for 18 years, attended the meeting earlier, but left before the discussion. His sister Marjorie Springmeyer sat through the whole meeting.

If the weather allows for it, the city plans to open the golf course April 1. The city bought 150 acres from the Tahoe pioneer in 1982 for $380,000. The parks and recreation amenity brings in $360,000 annually in gross revenue to city coffers.


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