Tahoe City downtown access project gets boost of funding

Tahoe City Downtown Access Improvements Project location.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The North Tahoe Community Alliance approved additional funding for the Tahoe City Downtown Access Improvements Project, bringing the decades long project closer to fruition. 

“For most people, the most visible aspect would be the expansion of the parking lot behind Fat Cat, the Grove St. parking lot,” said Associate Civil Engineer for Placer County Department of Public Works Andy Deinken.

The project, as proposed, will expand public parking facilities from 61 to 94 parking stalls and two Americans with Disabilities Act compliant parking stalls. In addition, the project includes a public restroom facility, up to three electric vehicle charging stations, public safety lighting, two loading/delivery areas, stormwater improvements, landscaping, three improved ingresses, and an approximately 1,255 foot section of Class 1 multi-use trail.

“That parking lot is going to connect to a few of the private commercial properties in that area to provide for better vehicular circulation, better pedestrian access … so that people have better access either on foot or bicycle or in their vehicle to some of the businesses on the eastern side of the downtown area,” Deinken said. 

The project will extend from the current Grove Street lot westward to butt up against the Cobblestone shopping area. It won’t widen out so the dog park behind the lot will remain as is. 

“As it is right now, the existing, small private lots for all the businesses there, they work but technically if you park in one of those spots, you’re not supposed to be going across the street to the beach for several hours or even going to the dog park,” Deinken said. “So, what we’re hoping for with this extended parking area is that people can park back there and really spend a lot more time going to multiple businesses and multiple recreation destinations and not have to move their vehicles around. I think it will be a good thing for the area.” 

Deinken said the idea has been discussed for decades but it wasn’t until the golf course was sold in Tahoe City Public Utility District in 2012 that it really got off the ground. Since then, Deinken said he’s heard generally positive feedback for the project. 

Caltrans and Placer County have approved the environmental aspects of the project and Deinken is currently in negotiations for a design contract. 

During their Feb 1. meeting, the NTCA Board of Directors voted to approve $340,000 in TBID funds for the project which will be used for the design and permitting costs. 

Deinken is still raising funds for construction but his hope is to have the design done in fall 2023 and construction to begin in spring 2024.

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