Residents blast city paid parking proposal
February 23, 2012
Residents and property owners in the Al Tahoe neighborhood tore into South Lake Tahoe’s proposal to implement paid parking in the area at a meeting to gather public input Wednesday night.
“To try and implement paid parking in a residential area is an absolute loser,” Al Tahoe resident John Cefalu said. “Just to try and solve the conflicts you’re going to create will be monumental.”
The city government is eyeing paid parking in four areas as a way to generate additional revenue. A series of meetings have been held to gather public input before the proposal heads to the council March 6.
So far, at all three of the meetings, most of that input has been negative, said Bob Albertazzi, community service officer and the city staffer who’s in charge of introducing the proposal to the public. Wednesday night was no different.
The meeting was supposed to be about the Regan Beach area in particular, but the discussion encompassed the entire paid program. The 35 or so attendees voiced their concerns, sometimes interrupting one another and Albertazzi as he tried to explain the proposal.
Their concerns ranged from the impact paid parking would have on parking in nearby neighborhoods, problems it would create for people who would like to access the beach but cannot afford paid parking and its effect on the character of South Lake Tahoe.
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“Are we going to have the distinction of being the only community in Lake Tahoe that charges people to go to the beach?” asked one resident, who cited the free access in Tahoe City, Incline Village and Kings Beach.
Another woman, who owns property in the area but lives in Sacramento County, likened the proposal to “taxation without representation.”
Albertazzi slowly worked through the proposal from the number of spaces and enforcement officers, to the projected revenue and costs. He outlined plans for the permit parking in neighborhoods near paid parking areas, which brought on another slew of concerns.
Not everyone at the meeting was opposed to the proposal. At least two attendees tried to reason with the crowd.
“It is a very easy way to increase revenue without raising your taxes,” said resident Elie Alyeshmerni.
JoAnn Conner, president of the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce also chimed in on the side of the city.
“I think the city needs to do something to generate revenue and I’m pleased they’re looking outside of the citizens,” she said following the meeting. “Although, we do understand the concerns of the residents.”
Albertazzi had to remind the group repeatedly that paid parking is not a done deal. The issue will head to the City Council March 6.
“The council will be well aware that the overwhelming consensus is against this,” Albertazzi said.