Plan for ‘Y’ area entering environmental review phase: Public is asked what should be included in review process |

Plan for ‘Y’ area entering environmental review phase: Public is asked what should be included in review process

Adam Jensen

On Wednesday, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board will seek public input on what should be included in the environmental review process for the Tahoe Valley Community Plan.

The plan’s area includes 335 acres centered around the “Y,” where Highways 50 and 89 intersect in South Lake Tahoe.

Four alternatives, including a no-action option, are to be considered during the development of the environmental impact statement for the plan this winter.

The alternatives consider a variety of development in the area, including up to 200,000 square feet of new commercial space and 600 apartments or condominiums.

Two of the alternatives include studying the feasibility of a roundabout at the “Y,” and all three of the action alternatives include incorporating bike paths into the area and looking at the possibility of moving South Lake Tahoe Fire Department’s fire station No. 3.

A draft environmental impact statement is scheduled to be released at the end of February, with Governing Board review of the final statement expected in June.

Under a separate process, likely to be included on the Governing Board’s November agenda, traffic signal improvements at the “Y” could begin as early as next spring.

In August, Caltrans withdrew $870,000 of funding for a signal project at the “Y” because sufficient progress was not being made on the project.

The project has been in the works for about seven years, but progress has been held up by turnover in city staff and consideration of a roundabout at the intersection, according to a TRPA memo.

City staff have recently developed a new funding plan for the project.

A combination of Caltrans and city of South Lake Tahoe funding is proposed to pay for the nearly $2.5 million dollar project, which includes the replacement of poles and signals and landscaping at the intersection’s corners.

New detectors and computerized traffic controllers are also to be installed at the light in order to improve the flow of traffic at the intersection.

Currently, “excess green” at the intersection keeps lights green when there are no cars coming, according to John Greenhut, the city’s Public Works Director.

Barring further complications, Greenhut expects the “Y” signal improvement project to begin construction in April.


Who: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

What: October Governing Board Meeting

When: Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.

Where: TRPA Board Rooms, 128 Market Street, Stateline


TRPA could push for helicopter

Included on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s October Governing Board agenda is the possible adoption of a resolution supporting the stationing of a quick response firefighting helicopter in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“It doesn’t provide funding, but it provides an impetus,” said Coe Swobe, TRPA board member and the resolution’s author. “We have a window of opportunity now because of the Angora fire. We don’t want things to go back to business as usual.”

If the resolution passes it will be sent to the governments of California and Nevada, county governments around the lake, the city of South Lake Tahoe and the co-chairs of the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission.

The government groups and fire commission will receive the resolution “so we can maybe spark some contributions and funding through governmental agencies,” Swobe said Wednesday.

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