Stateline mobile home park may be replaced by condos (dk) Stateline residents upset with idea of being ousted | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Stateline mobile home park may be replaced by condos (dk) Stateline residents upset with idea of being ousted

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

By Susan Wood

Tribune staff writer

In the next few months, controversial plans for a large residential condominium complex where the Tahoe Shores Mobile Home Park now sits will come to a head.

Park residents who have expressed dismay over allegedly being pushed out intend to come out in force to seek relief from rent increases for low-income tenants at the Douglas County Commissioners meeting slated for Dec. 18 at 1:30 p.m. at their Stateline chambers.

“They helped negotiate a compromise on the last increase. I don’t see why they can’t negotiate this one,” said Mike Ingenluyff, president of the Stateline Homeowners Association. “We’re trying to be reasonable. We understand it’s the property owners’ right to redevelop. We just want to be treated fairly.”

Their rent is going up, while the property owner’s plans have gone down to the county’s Minden offices and to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

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South Shores Tahoe LLC filed plans in June with the regulatory agency for the prime lakefront property at the end of Kahle Drive. Plans include 142 residential condominium units and a banquet facility to accommodate 250 guests, among other components.

The limited partnership, led by Robert Mecay of Incline Village, intends to also place 30 buoys offshore and a 400-foot pier on the shoreline of Lake Tahoe.

A permit application was also submitted with the county Community Development Department for site grading and infrastructure improvements.

Managing partner Thomas Casteneda has declined to speak on the matter. Phone calls to property manager Michael Gelfand were not returned.

TRPA will host hearings in the next few months to evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposed development. The environmental impact statement is expected no sooner than a year from now.

South Shores Tahoe LLC bought the 17 acres between Stateline and Round Hill two years ago for $12.6 million.

Since then, controversy over the proposed displacement of the residents and mounting rent increases averaging 20 percent a year have spilled over into the Douglas County Commissioners meetings.

Commissioners considered rent control for the Stateline area last year, but abandoned the idea when it appeared problematic, according to county counsel Scott Doyle.

A compromise was reached that provides a waiver to future increases for those over 65 and the disabled whose cost of living expenses exceed half the tenant’s monthly household income.

Beyond the residents absorbing higher utility costs, the average rent was raised from $547 to $657 last March. Two weeks ago, a letter went out notifying the tenants of another increase that would bring the total to $707 a month. Rental rates vary by lot size and location for the 155 spaces.

With rising rents and household costs, some tenants of the mobile home park lamented they feel pushed out of their homes in one of the last bastions of affordable housing at the lake. Some have left the premises, while others have pledged to hold out to keep their homes.

“I’m not going to leave until they give me major bucks. They’ll have to buy me out at a high market value,” resident Jan Christensen said.