Placer rejects larger parking stalls in garage
Parking stalls in the proposed Tahoe City Marina Mall parking garage will be smaller than Placer County standards call for, prompting a group of marina users to oppose the $14-million project.
Over a year ago, planners for Placer County redevelopment received approval for designs of the Marina Public Parking Structure that included smaller spaces than county standards, according to Placer Senior Redevelopment Specialist Candace Rousselet.
Although about 2-feet shorter than the standard 20-foot stall, Rousselet said the approved dimensions of the Tahoe City parking spaces are a universally accepted size in architectural design that many parking garages use.
The parking garage at the Village at Squaw Valley is one example of a structure with the 18-foot-long stalls, she said.
On Sept. 5, Placer County zoning administrators approved a variance allowing county planners to reduce the structure’s stalls from the 9-by-20-foot standard size to 8.5-by-18 feet. The variance and the prospect of a garage full of mini-parking spaces ignited a controversy within the marina’s population.
Three weeks ago, the Tahoe Boat Company Owners Association, a group of 160 boat slip owners in the Tahoe City Marina, retained legal counsel and asked the zoning department to reverse its decision, according to association member John Baker.
The attorney contended the reduction in stall size would create a health and safety issue for the public, leaving no space for larger SUV-type vehicles common in the Tahoe area, or enough room to turn larger vehicles around to exit.
Redevelopment’s Rousselet said each floor of the proposed three-story garage utilizes one entry and exit, with no access to the other floors. Plans call for each floor to have one stall reserved for drivers to use to turn around, she said. The proposed configuration should not create a health and safety concern, providing plenty of room to pull in and out of parking spots, according to Rousselet.
“We [have] a 25-foot drive aisle ” that meets county code,” she said.
Although the Placer County Planning Commission denied the Tahoe City boat owners’ appeal on Oct. 25, Baker and others opposed to the $14-million project will voice their concerns at the next Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board meeting, scheduled over two days on Nov. 28 and 29.
At the meeting, the agency is scheduled to consider a final approval of the parking structure, according to the agency’s Communications and Legislative Affairs Chief Julie Regan.
The boat association will continue to oppose the structure’s construction and will likely raise not only safety concerns at the governor’s board meeting, but parking rights, according to the association’s attorney.
“The [Tahoe Boat Company Owners Association] is concerned with the new parking plan that involves their easement rights,” Baker said in a phone interview. “We have 160 non-exclusive rights to parking spots.”
The garage building will take away 42 existing surface level spots, according to Placer County Deputy Director of Redevelopment Rae James.
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