Parking garage managers request increase in fees |

Parking garage managers request increase in fees

Susan Wood

The South Lake Tahoe City Council will field parking issues Tuesday, including a recommendation from its parking garage operator to reverse the rates so motorists would pay more.

Since June 23, motorists have received their first hour free in the garage at the Heavenly Village complex near Stateline. Thereafter, the rates are set for $5 an hour – with a maximum fee of $15 on weekdays. On the weekends, the maximum increases to $20.

In a letter to the city, Standard Parking senior manager David Venancio concludes “that while the new rate structure may be fostering goodwill within the community, it may not be the best for revenue collection.”

With the rates going up and down, the city is trying to develop a balance between making its expenses and encouraging more people to drive into the parking garage.

The city, which operates the garage under the auspices of the Parking Authority with the City Council setting policy, has made more revenue on the $6 million structure over the last year than it has shelled out. However, the 422-space garage must generate more to continue making its 2004-05 expenses. It made a lump bond payment of $306,156 in June.

“The Authority is hopeful that operating revenues will be significantly greater in 2004-05. However, if current revenue and expense generation patterns continue through 2004-05, the gross revenues will be insufficient to meet both maintenance and operation costs and annual bond service after May 2005,” Redevelopment Manager Gene Palazzo wrote in his staff report.

Parking at Heavenly Village affects patterns at the Raley’s-anchored Village Center across Park Avenue.

Some motorists patronizing Heavenly Village have tried to park free for two hours at the Village Center to escape paid parking at the garage, prompting an alert to High Sierra Patrol to serve citations or request motorists to give their destinations. An overall hotbed issue, the practice has made some disgruntled with the parking situation in both complexes.

Regarding the other end of town, the City Council will hear an outline Tuesday of the Tahoe Valley Community Plan Team’s vision of commercial development at the “Y.”

The council will also get an update on the Highway 50 improvement project as well as prioritize the city’s entire capital improvement program. In addition, it will discuss the status of a Business Improvement District intended to channel funds into marketing.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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