Redevelopment: The people speak
Residents paused from lunch Tuesday to express a range of views, mostly positive, regarding the city’s Park Avenue Redevelopment plans.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Larry Samelson said. “It’s going to ease congestion and attract more visitors at the same time. It will bring South Lake Tahoe into modern times.”
“Any change that happens in life is going to get some negativity,” said Bob Deutsch. “But I understand that there’s not any real organized group against it.”
“I like the ice skating rink,” said Sandy Parks, who chief complaint was that there was not more recreation being planned.
“It’s a positive upgrade for that area,” said Doug Young of Carson City. “A lot of the buildings have been around for years.”
“People come here one time and get such a bad impression when they first drive in,” Tod Offenbacher said, comparing the city to other ski resorts in the country. “It’s so beautiful here.”
“It’s a great idea,” Andrea King said. “Anything to improve the look of the town.”
Some of those willing to address the subject had personal interests in the project. Nevertheless, they expressed reasons for support common to many residents of the South Shore.
“I’m all for it, with the water quality improvements included,” said Bob Dodge, an employee of Lahontan Water Quality Control. That’s one of the benefits that has won the support of environmental interests often opposed to development.
“It’s a great idea that’s long overdue,” Christian Waskiewicz said.
The owner of Alpen Sierra Coffee Company is not a casual observer either. Nor is he alone. Many owners of small businesses expect to benefit from redevelopment.
“The key to success is getting redevelopment done in a timely manner,” he said.
However, not all the probable beneficiaries are wholehearted supporters.
A casino employee who refused to give his last name was concerned that the city was leaving some things undone to focus on redevelopment.
“It will make it a town for rich people that’s not helping traffic problems,” he said. “The town is full of temporary fixes and people get frustrated.
“High class tourists are not going to ride a bus. But, as a local, every time I have to ride the bus, I’m appalled at what (routes) have been eliminated since the last time.”
Jim Castles felt the redevelopment project did not go far enough.
“I’d like to level all the motels and grow grass,” he said. “(Developers) ruined the area. I don’t mind redevelopment. I don’t like development.”
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Officials said conversations are occurring daily in regards to reopening U.S. Highway 50, but there is still no estimated date as to when traffic may start flowing again.