Tahoe redevelopment plans starting to move forward | NevadaAppeal.com

Tahoe redevelopment plans starting to move forward

Elaine Goodman
Nevada Appeal News Service

A new, 1,300-acre redevelopment zone concentrated in South Lake Tahoe’s “Y” area could be in place by this summer, under a timeline released by the city’s redevelopment agency.

A consultant has completed a report that found 2,308 parcels in the proposed area, or 86 percent, have “at least one serious physical blight characteristic, and the entire project area is affected by conditions of economic blight.”

State law requires a finding of blight before an area can be designated a redevelopment zone.

The consultant, UFI-GRC Redevelopment Planning of Orange, Calif., has recommended reducing the size of the redevelopment area by about 445 acres from what had previously been proposed.

Areas including wetlands around the Lake Tahoe Airport, and some land near Al Tahoe Boulevard including the Safeway, are “not as affected by blight as others,” the consultant said.

Much of the proposed redevelopment zone is at the “Y,” but it also spreads along Highway 50 toward Stateline, including the Harrison Avenue area and part of the Bijou neighborhood.

Public meetings on the proposed redevelopment are scheduled for Wednesday, with sessions at 2 and 6 p.m. The meetings will be at city offices at the Lake Tahoe Airport, and will include an explanation of the redevelopment plan and time for questions and answers. For more information, see http://www.ctcip.org.

Redevelopment is a mechanism to improve blighted areas. Redevelopment agencies borrow money to pay for improvements in the area.

Then, as property values in the redevelopment area increase, the redevelopment agency is allowed to keep most of the increased property tax revenue that results. That money is used to repay the loans.

Redevelopment agencies sometimes use the eminent domain process to seize property. However, the City Council has already passed a resolution stating that eminent domain will not be used in the new redevelopment area. That resolution could be overturned through what officials describe as a lengthy process.

Exactly which projects the redevelopment agency would pursue in the new redevelopment area have yet to be determined, said Redevelopment Director Gene Palazzo.

Some obvious candidates are improvements to drainage, pavement, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks, and improving the Lukins Brothers water system.

Economic development programs are another possibility, including small business loans and facade-improvement programs. The redevelopment agency is required to use a percentage of funds on affordable housing.

This would be the city’s second redevelopment zone. The first, formed in 1988, is in the state line area and includes Heavenly Village and the convention center site.

The City Council, which also serves as the board of the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency, had been scheduled to vote on Jan. 27 on reducing the size of the proposed redevelopment zone, and whether to approve the consultant’s report.

But those decisions were delayed after councilmen Hal Cole and Bruce Grego learned they could have a conflict of interest in voting on redevelopment matters because they own property in or near the proposed area.

A timeline released last month showed final approval possibly occurring on June 16. That timeline could be delayed by the council members’ conflict of interest questions.

What: Public meetings

on the proposed

redevelopment plan

When: Wednesday at

2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Where: City offices at Lake Tahoe Airport

Information: http://www.ctcip.org