UPDATE: Kings Beach project may be reconsidered
July 1, 2008
Three lanes and roundabouts may still be in the cards for Kings Beach.
After being voted down by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Wednesday, June 25, Board Member Steven Merrill has made a request for reconsideration on the Commercial Core project. This means the board would first have to vote for reconsideration, then potentially reconsider the plans for the stretch of Highway 28.
“I think this is an extremely emotionally charged topic,” said Merrill, one of Schwarzenegger’s appointments to the board. “One of the issues board members voted against was the traffic through the neighborhood, and there was not a very good job explaining mitigating measures.”
While not yet scheduled, the reconsideration could go before the board as early as the July 23-24 meeting, and would require five California votes and four from Nevada to pass, said Dennis Oliver, spokesman for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
“If that happens they won’t immediately vote on the project, it will have to come back later,” Oliver said.
Merrill, who voted for the three-lane option on June 25, said both the three- and four-lane options are compromises.
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“I think it’s an extremely difficult call but on the balance, I felt three lanes is the best compromise,” Merrill said.
And like most people involved, Merrill said no matter what option, something needs to be done.
“If we can’t have three lanes then we need a very strong four-lane option. It’s better than doing nothing at all,” Merrill said. “The community genuinely wants to rebuild itself.”
But some say three lanes would hinder redevelopment.
“Redevelopment is going to increase density, and that increase in density means increased number of vehicles,” David McClure, president of the Kings Beach Business and Citizen’s Alliance.
Still, those in support of three lanes say the Kings Beach project was never about traffic.
“The TRPA has its major purposes and goals, and if they really look at the hats they wear and the seats they are sitting in, they should re-examine their decision,” said Dave Polivy, a resident of Kings Beach.
The three-lane option is more in line with the agency’s environmental goals, and the agency’s transportation plan, which puts highest emphasis on pedestrian uses, Polivy said.
“It’s sad that Kranz and Leslie would vote against the community when clearly the are the most locally representative members,” Polivy said.
Jim Lawrence (sitting in for Allen Biaggi)
NON-VOTING PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE