Long-standing Tahoe motel razed; townhouse development to replace it | SierraSun.com

Long-standing Tahoe motel razed; townhouse development to replace it

Margaret Moran | mmoran@sierrasun.com
On Friday, Sept. 25, crews demolished the Sun ‘n’ Sand Lodge located in Kings Beach off Highway 28.
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — The heart of Kings Beach’s landscape is forever changed as a long-standing lakeside structure was recently removed to make way for private redevelopment.

On Sept. 25, the Sun ‘n’ Sand Lodge — located between the North Tahoe Event Center and Steamers Beach Side Bar and Oven — at 8308 North Lake Blvd. was demolished so construction could begin on townhouses.

“We hope it acts as a seed to spark the revitalization of Kings Beach,” said Todd Davidson, general partner with Peak10, a limited partnership created for the project. “It sounds altruistic, and I’m not doing this like a professional developer trying to make money — certainly I’m in business to do that — but I got involved to help revitalize our Kings Beach community.”

Serving as the first privately funded project since the start of the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, the development consists of 10 single-family townhomes — nine of which will be a three-bed, three-bath unit, and one a four-bed, four-and-a-half-bath unit, he said.

The 34-foot-tall, three-story structure will about 16,400 square feet — with units ranging from 1,526 square feet to 2,273 square feet — and be built within the former motel’s footprint.

Beyond the new structure, on-site grading will be done so runoff drains toward Highway 28 and permanent water quality best management practices will be installed, per Tahoe Regional Planning Agency guidelines, according to Placer County.

Twenty on-site parking spaces are planned — two per residential unit, Davidson said. To ensure there is no parking overflow or increased parking demand, a homeowner’s association with conditions, covenants and restrictions is proposed.

‘Urban in-fill project’

Following California Environmental Quality Act guidelines, an environmental study was performed on the proposed project, complete with a 30-day public comment period.

While the initial study found the project could have a significant adverse effects on the environment in areas such as air quality, geology and soils, and noise, those impacts can be mitigated to less than significant.

Among the comments received on the Mitigated Negative Declaration were King Beach residents Megan and Jack Chillemi, who raised concern the project would conflict with the Tahoe Basin Area Plan update and community vision for Kings Beach.

Based on project design and location, Placer County staff believes the townhouse building meets the intent of the community vision and would be consistent with the area plan update.

“This is an urban in-fill project,” Davidson added, who formerly lived in Kings Beach and is an Incline Village resident. “It’s part of the Kings Beach vision plan. Residents can walk to the beach, to dining, to shopping and to retail. We should encourage downtown vibrancy.”

Meanwhile, 144 individuals, including local residents and business owners, signed a petition in support of the redevelopment.

Project approvals were granted by the Placer County Planning Commission, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Placer County Design Review Committee, among others, Davidson said.

‘Tired and worn and done’

Constructed in 1951, the roughly 27-foot-tall Sun ‘n’ Sand building had 27 tourist accommodation units and one residential unit.

The motel had one manager, with the remainder of personnel serving as seasonal, independent workers, Davidson said.

The manager will not be retained, as she has decided to return to school to further her education, he said.

The last day the motel housed guests was Sept. 7, Davidson said.

On various online travel and lodging sites, the motel averaged a two-star rating based off user reviews.

While past guests liked the motel’s proximity to the beach, many called the room they stayed in as “dirty” or “filthy” — with a few mentioning bugs.

“(The building) was tired and worn and done,” Davidson said. “It needed to go.”

Groundwork is aimed to be completed by TRPA’s Oct. 15 grading deadline, so allowed construction on the new townhouse structure can occur throughout the winter, he said.

Based on that timeline, the project is hoped to be completed by either September or October 2016.

The cost of the project is unknown at this time, as bids are still coming in, Davidson said.

As for unit prices, those will depend on market value, he said.