Placer Co. to buy Kings Beach gas station
The cleanup of the eastern end of Kings Beach is on its way after the Placer County Redevelopment Agency Board Tuesday approved purchasing a closed service station on that end of town.
The board, which is comprised of the members of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, authorized the purchase of the old Chevron/Swiss Mart station for $520,000. The station has been vacant for a number of years.
“What we will do with it is clean it up and demolish it,” said Rae James, deputy director of the Placer County Redevelopment Agency. “We’re very self-conscious because it is the entrance to Kings Beach and California.”
James estimated it will cost $300,000 for the demolition and environmental cleanup of the site, which includes monitoring wells to check the level of groundwater contamination.
The demolition will begin in the spring because the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency deadline for grading has passed, James said. It will take a year and a half to complete the project, which includes adding ground cover and landscaping to the third-of-an-acre site.
The agency has said in the past it would consider a parking lot on the site, but James said no options have been ruled out. The agency will also seek an easement to install a welcome sign on the land.
“We would want to work with the community because it has been a sore point with the community for a long time,” James said. “We are glad this is happening and can give the community something to be proud of.”
Pam Jahnke, executive director of the North Tahoe Business Association, said she did not believe a parking lot would be the best use of the space and would like to see a gateway information center.
“It’s good news. Anything is better than what is there now,” Jahnke said. “There is a chain-link fence with an old station there now. It will be real nice. It will change the look of that area.”
The agency noted last year that the fenced-up gas station is a potential environmental and health hazard. The previous owners of the property, Timberland, LLC, worked under the guidelines of the Lahontan Regional water Quality Control Board to clean up contamination after the North Tahoe Public Utility District detected a petroleum leak in 1989. However, after five years they stopped clean up and payment to the contractor.
Since 1999, Lahontan issued three cleanup and abatement orders to the owners that were ignored. After warnings of civil liability, Lahontan requested the state be allowed to enter the site and run tests on groundwater contamination.
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It was February of 2020 when artist Ryan “RYNo” Bahlman realized he needed to find an art studio.