Tahoe City Transit Center: Residents ask, "Why there?" | SierraSun.com

Tahoe City Transit Center: Residents ask, "Why there?"

Nick Cruit
Sierra Sun

If approved, the transit center would encompass about 2.5 acres of the 64-acre recreational park located off Highway 89 and include 130 parking places, room for up to six buses, bike lockers, benches, enclosed office space and public restrooms.

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TAHOE CITY ” As Tahoe City Transit Center proponents are trying to track down the money needed to pay for it, opponents are questioning the center’s proposed location.

On Dec. 9, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a design and construction agreement between the county’s public works department and the county’s redevelopment agency in the amount of $500,000 for the transit center.

But while the search continues for the final $1 million to satisfy the project’s $7 million budget, some Tahoe City residents continue to oppose the location of the transit center on the 64-acre U.S. Forest Service property near the Tahoe City “Y”.

Jean Joynt, a retired elementary school teacher, said many of her past students have planted trees in the park where the transit center would be located.

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Joynt said she has recently seen some of the trees her students have planted marked to be removed by the U.S. Forest Service, the same people that provided the trees for her students in the first place.

“There have been kids from all over the district that have planted trees there,” said Joynt. “The Forest Service gave us those trees, and now they are going to cut them down.”

It is not the building itself Joynt opposes ” in fact she became quite fond of it after seeing the architectural renderings done by San Francisco-based architecture firm WRNS Studio.

“We have this beautiful building, but it needs to be somewhere else,” she said.

Still, plans for the 64-acre park location continue.

“We’ve secured some federal grants that got it close to the $7 million budget but we’re still a million-plus short,” said Brian Stewart, project manager.

Stewart said they will continue to work on permitting efforts through the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Caltrans, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the U.S. Forest Service with hopes to have the final design done by the end of January or early February.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the plan to build a bus center on the parcel in 2005, but several neighboring homeowners challenged the decision because they believe the property should be used for recreational purposes.

The intermodal transit center and park-and-ride facility is part of a long-term plan to improve Tahoe Area Regional Transit operations.