Permit center for Angora victims has a hazy future
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors may vote today on whether to move forward with a dedicated permit center for 254 property owners who lost their homes in the Angora fire.
But with the cost of the permit center estimated at $350,000 and 153 permits already approved or in the pipeline, some are questioning whether the center would be worthwhile.
At a meeting last week of the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County, group member Art Marinaccio said the county should forget the idea.
“There really isn’t a problem to fix,” Marinaccio said.
County Supervisor Norma Santiago has argued that her constituents became lost in the current permit process, hearing different things from different agencies involved in the building in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Her proposal includes hiring a project manager for the permit center who would act as an ombudsman to help homeowners through the process, said Mike Applegarth with the El Dorado County Chief Administrative Office. “She envisioned everyone teaming up in one central place,” he said.
The new center would be separate from the county’s office for development services in the El Dorado Center on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Although at one point the county was looking at having a stand-alone center, Applegarth said Monday that the current plan calls for housing it in the El Dorado Center.
County officials expect 75 percent of the center’s cost to be reimbursed by the state.
But Supervisor Jack Sweeney cautioned at the board’s Jan. 29 meeting that even though the state had promised funding for the permit center, “our friends in Sacramento will cut everything they can point their finger at.”
The remaining 25 percent of the funding could come from a grant through the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
If approved, the center would operate through Dec. 28.
-Tahoe Daily Tribune City Editor Elaine Goodman contributed to this report.
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