South Lake Tahoe votes in favor of new rec center and input on Loop Road Project

Claire Cudahy
South Lake Tahoe voters passed Measure P, which will increase TOT by 2 percent, with funds going towards a new recreation center.

South Lake Tahoe will be getting a new recreation center — and a say in city decisions on the proposed Loop Road Project.

This election ushered in a major win for recreation in South Lake Tahoe. Measure P — a proposed citywide increase of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) by two percent — passed with 3,214 votes, or 67.65 percent.

The measure needed two-thirds of the vote to pass.

The increase, which will take place 90 days after the election results are certified, will raise the hotel tax to 12 percent in most of the city and 14 percent in the redevelopment area.

The estimated $2 million generated annually is earmarked for the construction, operation and maintenance of a new recreation complex.

The current recreation and swim complex, located at 1180 Rufus Allen Blvd., is over 40 years old.

“I think Measure P is an absolute win for everybody in our community and for our visitors as well,” expressed Mayor Wendy David.

“We have a crumbling recreation center and now that we have really determined and realized that we are a recreation destination, we are excited about the possibility with the passage of Measure P to build a recreation center that matches what we have in our natural environment as well.”

“The South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association and lodging community is thrilled that Measure P has passed, providing our community with a future first-class recreation facility that will benefit our local community recreation users, our Boys and Girls Club families and our visitors for years to come,” said Jerry Bindel of the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association.

“This facility will be a world-class facility for swimming and rehabilitation, court-based sports, tournaments, events and community gatherings.”

The goal is to begin construction on the new facility in 2018 and complete the project in 2020.


Measure T — a citizen-generated ballot initiative that aimed to prohibit the city from “approving or supporting” the Loop Road Project — was also passed by the voters of South Lake Tahoe.

The measure, which passed with 2,852 votes or 60.50 percent, was designed to allow city decisions regarding the Loop Road to be put to a citywide vote.

The measure needed a majority vote to pass.

Now it’s back to the courts for the City of South Lake Tahoe on Dec. 5 in order for a judge to determine how the city should proceed given the vague language of the measure.

“As to the request by the city to define what the ballot measure means if it passes, let the vote play out. I feel confident that there will be another lawsuit. It would be more appropriate to discuss this if and when it passes,” stated Judge James Wagoner of Placerville.

Wagoner presided over a lawsuit, brought forth by the newly elected councilor Jason Collin, which attempted to block Measure T from the ballot. The lawsuit alleged that the measure was “flawed” and an unlawful interference of the city’s authority.

The amount of influence the passage of Measure T will actually have on Tahoe Transportation District’s project is still hotly debated, since it is a federal bi-state project, not a city project.

To view all El Dorado County election results, go here.

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