Placer is first to review Kings Beach plan | SierraSun.com

Placer is first to review Kings Beach plan

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

Placer County supervisors took a first look at a proposed revitalization of Kings Beach Tuesday at a meeting held at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center, initiating a series of governing agency reviews of the redevelopment project.

Public Works officials presented the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement project to the supervisors, who voiced concern with pedestrian crossings, traffic flow, parking and the public’s adaptation to roundabouts. The supervisors were not scheduled to take any action.

Tuesday’s forum also gave the public a chance to address the board with questions and concerns.

Deputy Director of Public Works Peter Kraatz reviewed the pros and cons of each of four alternatives, including a no-project option. Kraatz also presented several potential funding sources that the county hopes to capture in next year’s budgeting, increasing the project’s funds by $17.8 million.

Public comments echoed those heard in past meetings, addressing concerns with parking, traffic, safety, long-term maintenance and the project’s public process. Public sentiment remained divided between alternatives.

“[The governing agencies] are going to have a difficult decision,” said Paul Vatistas of Tahoe City. “I don’t think the consensus we would like to emerge is going to emerge.”

While those who spoke continually thanked the board for addressing Kings Beach’s need for revitalization, the supervisors acknowledged the public’s polite and professional manner.

“I want to compliment everyone who spoke,” said Supervisor Bruce Kranz. “This was a very polite group.”

Officials are working to address the numerous comments they received during the environmental review. Public Works will release its recommendation on the project in August, after all comments have been addressed.

Government action on the Kings Beach downtown facelift will occur in the fall, when the item is presented to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Placer County, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration.

– “You folks in the Tahoe basin … really participate in your [public] processes more than the rest of the county … You are the ones to be congratulated.” – Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler

– “There has been an intensive effort to sell a roundabout alternative in our area.” – Dave McClure, North Tahoe resident and business owner.

– “[Currently, Kings Beach] is a place to drive through, and not to.” -Alex Mourelatos, North Tahoe resident and business owner.

– “There is no place in Placer County that has more potential than Kings Beach,” – Kevin McDermott, North Tahoe resident and business owner.