South Lake Tahoe develops plan for recovery, growth

Laney Griffo


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council approved a 5-year strategic plan which will help guide the city through the pandemic and well beyond.

“The strategic plan is designed to state the direction for the community while identifying strategies and goals and action plans which will help guide work programs and work efforts for the city,” said City Manager Joe Irvin told the Tribune. “I think the importance of the strategic plan all helps to ensure that the city of South Lake Tahoe remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its residents and stakeholders.”

Work on the plan started in February 2020 with a strategic planning workshop where council members identified the city’s strengths and weaknesses.

Although work started before the pandemic, when COVID-19 shut down the city, the need for a detailed, long-term plan for growth and recovery became even more imperative.

Council started a new subcommittee, the Transformative Change Committee, to address the future of the city. They identified five priority areas; built environment, recreation and equitable access, community for all, economic development and continuous improvement.

“It starts at a high level with broad priorities and within those priorities are the various goals,” Irvin said. “And unless you take those goal statements and create actual achievable action items, it’s hard to implement. And that’s what we’ve done.”

The plan lays out 101 action items, some of which are already underway, like the 56 Acres Master Plan that includes building a new swim and recreation complex, and improving mental health and homeless outreach which has started through the work of South Tahoe Alternative Collaborative Services.

“This council made a decision to continue to prioritize affordable housing efforts, to focus on our environment, arts, culture and mental health services,” said Mayor Tamara Wallace in a press release. “We are committed to moving South Lake Tahoe forward and that’s exactly what this strategic plan will do.”

The city is hosting a budget workshop in March to align resources and fiscal goals with items in the action plan. Irvin also said he will be giving regular updates to council on progress of action items.

With the plan, Irvin hopes to convey confidence in the future of the city.

“We’re going to be working on implementation of this plan on the heels of the pandemic, which, yes, we’re still in but light is at the end of the tunnel, vaccine distribution and the supply chain is improving,” Irvin said. “And to have this in place to help guide us as we come through this pandemic and on a road to recovery and building a stronger south lake, it’s really exciting.”

Many of the action items leave space for public comment and Irvin said he encourages the community to provide feedback.

To view the full plan, visit

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