LETTER TO EDITOR: Alternatives exist to redevelopment | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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LETTER TO EDITOR: Alternatives exist to redevelopment

John W. Runnels
South Lake Tahoe

Our community needs renewal and to re-invent itself in a new green, eco-friendly, eco-tourism driven form. We need to break free of our dying dependence upon gaming-driven tourism and market the tremendous value of our alpine lake-mountain area.

This economy offers those who survive and those who choose to invest their lives in our communities future an opportunity, to change, to re-design, and update what we offer to those we depend upon, our tourists.

I know of no business who does not want to upgrade or rebuild their properties. Those who fought the City and agency requirements and costs to build are critical of the City and their policies. Given stagnant or declining property values, tax increment financing based upon an unrealistic 7 percent projected property revenue gains, and the track record of redevelopment areas No. 1 and No. 3,

Is redevelopment the right plan at the right time?

The city needs to take a step back, talk to residents, and re-evaluate their plans. Redevelopment is not the only solution to the problem of corridor renewal.

• Put redevelopment on hold temporarily or otherwise.

• Finish the Tahoe Valley Community Plan and implement it.

• Meet with corridor businesses and residents, one on one, at their place of business or home. City representatives should be familiar with all forms of assistance or funding for small business renewal and prepared to discuss with and help Locals apply. Local input has been selectively screened at six “community meetings” where the city has refused to discuss any method of community renewal except for Redevelopment and “tax increment financing,” and where residents participation is dependent upon their business hours and available childcare. For city representatives getting away from the sterile environment of the their offices, consultants, and tightly controlled public meetings can only increase their understanding of what residents and business owners are facing.

• Target smaller areas. Encourage small groups of connected areas. Form B.I.D.S., no longer a bad word if used properly. Look at the success of Ski Run Blvd.

• Restore acceptable water supplies and fire flow pressures to Lukins Brothers Water Company through the use of a special or community service district, or T.A.R.P./ stimulus funds, not by re-assessing STPUD ratepayers who have paid higher costs for decades for their water service

• Let voters decide if redevelopment which will increase costs for citizens of South Lake Tahoe and basin portions of El Dorado County, is what they want. Place redevelopment on the upcoming ballot for the General Election in November 2010 or the off year election in November 2011

Please attend the City Council meeting April 6.


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