Please bear with us, asks store owner |

Please bear with us, asks store owner

Jeff Munson, Tribune city editor

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneA possible violation by the Bear's Den has inspired a theme idea for Meyers.

Plans to develop a community theme for Meyers — possibly involving art and wood sculptures depicting wildlife — were brought to the table last week by a South Shore attorney.

Dennis Crabb presented the Meyers Community Roundtable a plan that would allow business and community leaders to carve an agreement on appropriate art and displays for the town.

The matter has been the center of controversy since the El Dorado County Planning Department sent Bear’s Den owner John Hill a notice of violation over his bear carving displays.

Crabb, who is representing Hill, told the Roundtable that it should present El Dorado County with a theme proposal to its community plan, which serves as a blueprint for business, building and residential codes for the town.

“The premise for the community plan calls for Meyers to develop a community theme to get away from the strip commercial look,” Crabb said Friday. “‘Bearville’, as I call it, can be a part of the overall community theme.”

The community plan has encouraged the town to adopt Gateway to Tahoe as a possible theme.

Recommended Stories For You

One idea is to have an entry sign into town that welcomes visitors to Meyers, not only as a Tahoe gateway community, but a community that has bears, Crabb said.

The Bearville concept would allow any business incorporating bear or wildlife themes into building improvements, signs and outdoor displays to be permitted to do so.

“The important thing is we get a theme the community will identify with Meyers and that gives it a sense of community and lets the business people decide how to do it in a tasteful, appropriate way,” he said.

A preliminary plan will be introduced to El Dorado County planner Conrad Montgomery, who will introduce a set of design guidelines, which will go before the Meyers Community Roundtable later this month.

If a consensus is built there, it will go on to the Board of Supervisors and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for approval. Crabb hopes the community identity plan and Bearville theme can be implemented by June.

“We haven’t been able to have plans regulated as they should, so if we could get something like this in place we will have a win-win situation,” said Roundtable Chairwoman Sue Yang.

Crabb looks at it philosophically, saying many communities have successfully adopted themes that are unique.

“It gives the community an identity,” Crabb said. “People who drive through Meyers on their way to Tahoe may not stop on their way in, but on their way out, they may think, ‘maybe we should stop here and have breakfast, shop in the retail stores and see what this business with bears is all about.'”

— Jeff Munson can be contacted by e-mail at