South Lake Tahoe’s Regan Beach rehab includes three options |

South Lake Tahoe’s Regan Beach rehab includes three options

Jack Barnwell
South Lake Tahoe Park and Recreation Commissioner Bonnie Turnbull explains some of the dynamics for one of three possible Regan Beach rehab options at a community meeting Tuesday.
Jack Barnwell | Tahoe Daily Tribune

Regan Beach has long been known for its communal charm, low-key presence and spectacular sunsets during the summer, but the South Shore park is in need of major rehabilitations.

Three options are on the table to replace or change the face of Regan Beach, along with some of its crumbling and aging infrastructure.

Fifty residents got the opportunity to weigh in on the concepts at a community outreach meeting hosted by Design Workshop Tuesday night.

Steve Noll, a principal with Design Workshop and a city parks commissioner, said the retaining wall along the beach is in bad shape, the concession stand needs to be rebuilt and disability access needs serious attention.

The first design option creates a larger lakefront picnic and plaza space in front of a new concession/restroom building, has no retaining wall, includes a central picnic plaza connected to a non-motorized boat launch and establishes two-way traffic that can be modified during special events. The wedding/event lawn at Fresno and Lakeview avenues would feature an elevated small gazebo and terraced seating overlooking the lake.

Option two’s design expands the existing beach area, adds a large adventure play area with a terrace from the lawn to the beach, includes a ramp down to the beach from the parking lot, has a lawn for games and informal play, features a new restroom/concession stand in the same area, has a picnic area close to the parking area and has a rebuilt, albeit smaller, wall in the same location.

Option three has the most aggressive shoreline restoration, a reduced lawn footprint and a new concession stand that would be relocated closer to the beach and event center, as well as a large promenade walkway with picnic area, a jetty and easier access to the beach.

All three options present some way to separate the dog park from the rest of Regan Beach, a topic that has polarized those with dogs and those without for the last several years. Option three’s jetty, for example, acts as a hard boundary separating dogs from the rest of the area.

“The dog issue is a hot button issue,” said Ben Fish, with Design Workshop, during the presentation.

Online and in-person feedback has ranked the grass areas, the beach and a need for paddleboard access as some of the higher priorities.

People seemed split on the options Tuesday night, especially when marking elements they liked with stickers on large displays of all three concepts.

“I think the options are diverse enough and maintain that intimate quality that Regan Beach has,” said Becky Bell, a 26-year South Lake Tahoe resident and project manager for Lake Tahoe Water Trail.

Ashley Aminian, an Al Tahoe resident, preferred the first two options the most.

“It basically updates what’s already there and renovates an outdated park,” Aminian said. The third option, she said, removes walking options.

Fellow South Lake Tahoe resident Krisha Pendlar agreed with Aminian on the first option.

“I like the idea of the hub because it promotes the idea of a more active environment,” Pendlar said.

Noll stressed that, while the options allow for clear direction, nothing has been set in stone.

“People should pick the elements they like best,” Noll said. He added Regan Beach would continue to have the local neighborhood feel.

“We are not trying to recreate Lakeview Commons,” Noll said.

At the moment, there’s no clear timeline for when actual construction has to take place. Jim Marino, the city’s assistant public works director, said environmental assessments and engineering studies still have to be conducted. Actual work probably wouldn’t start until 2018 or 2019 at the earliest.

Further input will be taken and applied to more concept designs to be presented to the public in late August.

Ultimately the South Lake Tahoe City Council has the last word on the final design. Noll said funding could come from many sources, including state grants, a bond measure or perhaps even from the city itself.

The city has set up an online survey for further feedback at

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