Opinion: Several ways to help shape your community | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Opinion: Several ways to help shape your community

Devin Middlebrook
Tribune Opinion Columnist

The New Year got off to one of the best starts we have seen in Tahoe in the last few years. Flocks of visitors have returned to the area, bringing with them excitement and money to spend. This year will not be the status quo for Tahoe, but instead something new and exciting. A number of projects, new federal policies and local elections will provide a fulcrum for community members to initiate change and propel Tahoe forward.

With the adoption of the City of South Lake Tahoe’s Tahoe Valley Area Plan, the “Y” is going to see new and innovative projects breaking ground this year. A Sacramento-based company has plans to transform the Factory Stores into a local hangout with small shops, restaurants, a concert venue and access to bike trails. Barton Memorial Hospital also plans to expand in the newly designated health care district, including the construction of a health and sports performance center on its main campus.

The City of South Lake Tahoe additionally began the planning process to renovate its Recreation and Swim Complex. The center has the opportunity to become a revitalized hub for our recreation-centered community and connect to Harrison Avenue. The plan in still in the early stages of development and community feedback is critical to creating a project the community wants. Speak up and let the city know what you want to see happen with this project.

On the other side of town, the Tahoe Transportation District is on track to release the draft environmental documents for the Highway 50/South Shore Community Revitalization project in the coming months. This project aims to revitalize the Stateline area into a more walkable and bikeable community with better connectivity to transportation and recreation. The City of South Lake Tahoe is holding an open house to answer questions from the public on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 4:30-7 p.m. at South Tahoe Middle School. You can submit your questions ahead of time at http://www.cityofslt.us.

At the federal level, the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act — designed to provide $415 million toward restoring Tahoe’s environment — took a big step forward this month. Sponsored by our full U.S. Senate delegation, the act passed through a key committee and is continuing through the legislative process. Writing, tweeting, and emailing your local congressional representative is one way to support this act. Find your local representatives at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find.

It is no secret that this will be a year of change for Lake Tahoe. Where this change will take us is up to every single person that calls Lake Tahoe home. This is your community — this is my community. Be the change you want to see. We all know what this community can accomplish; get out there and make something happen.

Devin Middlebrook is the civic engagement committee chair for the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. For comments, questions, or more information on how to get involved please email Devin and dcmiddlebrook@gmail.com or visit http://www.tahoetryp.org.

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