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At Lake Level June 2021 The official newsletter of the City of South Lake Tahoe

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The City of South Lake Tahoe is pleased to publish its monthly newsletter - "At Lake Level." You can sign up for the newsletter, and other City News, by texting JOIN NEWS to 30890 or clicking here. The monthly newsletter is prepared by the City Manager's Office in an effort to keep our community well-informed about City issues and initiatives.

Youth Ambassadors kick off this Memorial weekend to promote good stewardship

Left to right: Zachary Norman, Skyler Cobbs, Isabel Bauwens-Telles, Jasmine Bogran-Diaz, Anthony Doran, Mariel Penoliar, Juju Hancock, Mac Farley, and Phoebe Rogers

The Youth Ambassadors will be stationed at popular locations near the lake which include Regan Beach, Bijou Park, Lakeview Commons, and Connelly Beach to interact with visitors to promote good stewardship.

Ambassadors will share information about Lake Tahoe’s natural environment and ways to protect Tahoe while promoting responsible recreation, modeling good stewardship by picking up trash, reporting trash overflow, handing out pet waste bags, and tracking observations and interactions with the public using a specially programmed phone app.

When visiting City parks and beaches please look for our youth ambassadors and thank them for their commitment to preserving and protecting Lake Tahoe's natural beauty.

To support the efforts of our Ambassadors, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department will also be conducting special enforcement efforts against littering and other trash laws this Spring and Summer.

What to Expect At City Parks and Beaches this Summer

The Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to begin the first of a series of improvements to Regan Beach. Under the newly adopted strategic plan, City Council and the City of South Lake Tahoe have committed to prioritizing recreation and equitable access with the action item to “Implement the Regan Beach Master Plan improvements with funding as it becomes available.” Initial steps toward this goal are underway. Parks maintenance crews have installed entrance and exit gates, bollards, signs, replacing playground equipment, and are currently adding landscaping to improve the overall appearance of the much-loved Regan Beach.

Located on Lakeview Avenue, Regan Beach is the City’s oldest beach facility situated in a quiet residential neighborhood. Regan offers a variety of amenities in a tranquil setting with spectacular views of the lake and the best place in town to watch a Tahoe sunset. Regan is the place to go to have a quiet picnic, launch your kayak, or just relax and take in the views. In an effort to preserve the tranquility of the park, and the nearby neighborhood, City staff have implemented a hard closure of the park every night at 9:30pm throughout the Summer. Closing the park at night will also allow the police department to better monitor and enforce illegal activity making the park more family friendly and improving its appearance for early morning park users. If you visit Regan Beach this summer, please remember the park gates open at 6:30am and close promptly at 9:30pm.

One important operational change this summer is the Boat Ramp at El Dorado Beach will not be open to motorized vessels for the 2021 boating season due to low lake levels. Non-motorized boats may access the lake from the boat ramp provided they are Cleaned Drained and Dry. Two other boat ramps are located within a 10-mile drive of El Dorado Beach so boaters can still get out on the water and enjoy the lake this summer. Additional information about boating on Lake Tahoe is available here.

Lakeview Commons, El Dorado Beach, and the Boat Ramp at El Dorado Beach, all centrally located in the heart of town, have become a popular destination for both visitors and locals alike. Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach including the bbq and picnic area, seating pavilion, concessionaire, and walking path are open to the public and are a great place to enjoy the epic views of Lake Tahoe. A great resource to get up-to-date information on all Tahoe Beaches including those located in the City of South Lake Tahoe can be found here.

New Assistant to the City Manager, Lindsey Baker, starts June 1st

We are excited to announce that our new Assistant to the City Manager will be starting on Tuesday, June 1st! We will be introducing Lindsey at our June 1st City Council Meeting ..

In this new role, Baker will lead public communications and intergovernmental relations and will advance projects and goals identified in the City Council’s Strategic Plan. In addition, she will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships for the deployment of mobility solutions to enhance regional transportation connectivity, air quality, and economic development.

Safety Tips and reminders for summer from Fire cHIEF sAVACOOL

I am happy to say that June has arrived and with that, Summer is just about here! I cannot think of a better place to spend the summer months than South Lake Tahoe! As you look around town, you will notice hundreds of visitors have the same idea and we welcome them with open arms. The safety of those who come to visit the City is a high priority to the members of South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue (SLTFR).

Every year we see an increase in drownings and boating accidents on the lake. 2020 was a record year for drownings yet we have never recovered a body wearing a life jacket. Many people are unaware that South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue will literally GIVE you and your family members life jackets so that you can safely enjoy festivities out on the Lake. Check them out at any of our three fire stations.

With temperatures rising, the hiking and biking trails get busier as well. SLTFR typically sees an increase in warm weather emergencies such as dehydration, fatigue, sprains, and strains and even hyperthermia. We urge you to take the time to stretch and hydrate and know your limits. High altitude will play a factor and should always be considered.

Summertime also brings hot and dry temperatures and an increased risk for fire danger. SLTFR wants to make sure that our full-time residents and visitors are aware of this year's burn restrictions. The State fire code allows the use of charcoal BBQs within the city limits for one or two-family dwellings. With that being said, safe and responsible grilling is still expected and enforced. SLTFR will be providing ash cans free of cost to those who need them to ensure the safe disposal of discarded ashes and hot coals after grilling. Aside from charcoal, there are other alternatives as well. Propane tank grills with 1 pound LP-gas capacity are ok. (typical camping stove). You can store your grill on your balcony after you disconnect the tank. Note that the removed fuel tank may not be stored on the balcony within 10 feet of combustible construction or inside any enclosed structure. TANKS CANNOT BE STORED ON THE INSIDE OF A DWELLING UNIT. Also, electric grills and smokers are acceptable to use as well.

No outdoor cooking or fires of any kind will be allowed on Red Flag days. Red Flag days are posted on the City and Fire Department Facebook page, local weather pages, and the Cal Fire weather page. Also, SLTFR will be hanging Red Flag signs up at all three stations and at City Hall on designated Red Flag days.

As always, SLTFR wishes our community a safe and happy summer. We will continue to do our part to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community members and visitors alike.

City and business leaders meet with Congressman Tom McClintock

From left to right: Joe Irvin, Duane Wallace, Gary Casteel Jr., Dreu Murin, Doug Williams, Congressman Tom McClintock, and Mayor Tamara Wallace

Congressman Tom McClintock from the 4th District of California and our Congressional Representative meet with Mayor Wallace, City Manager Irvin, and local business and chamber leaders to discuss policy issues and opportunities to help improve the quality of life for South Lake Tahoe residents as well as issues related to wildfire safety.

The Mayor and City Manager presented Congressman McClintock with a copy of the City’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, which was adopted by unanimous vote by the City Council on March 2, 2021. We emphasized that the Strategic Plan development included intensive public outreach and is representative of the voice of South Lake Tahoe residents and business owners. We further expressed our encouragement that Congressman McClintock supports federal legislation where appropriate, that would help to implement the Strategic Plan.

It was our pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with Congressman McClintock and we look forward to establishing a healthy and productive relationship as we work together for the betterment of South Lake Tahoe residents.

Cannabis Ordinance Workshop to Be Held June 22

You are invited to a workshop on proposed changes to the City’s cannabis regulations to be held June 22 from 5:30-7:30 via Zoom. The City Council Cannabis Subcommittee (Mayor Pro Tem Devin Middlebrook and Councilmember John Friedrich) are hosting this workshop to present proposed changes to the City’s cannabis ordinance and receive feedback from community members.

Proposed changes include: (1) allowing cannabis retailers to include on-site consumption lounges; (2) allowing permittees to hold more than one Cannabis Use Permit; (3) increasing the allowable canopy size for indoor cultivation; and (4) establishing a cannabis tax. To join the meeting via Zoom go here.

Police Boating Safety Program

The South Lake Tahoe Police Boat will begin patrolling Lake Tahoe starting Memorial Day weekend.

Beginning January 1, 2021 California Boaters under the age of 40 are required to have a California Boater Card in their possession while operating a boat on Lake Tahoe. More information on California Boating Cards can be found here: https://californiaboatercard.com/

Remember that a vessel inspection is required to launch a boat in Lake Tahoe! More information on inspections can be found here.

Please be safe on Lake Tahoe! Wear a life jacket when boating/kayaking on the lake. Lake Tahoe is cold, and the wind frequently picks up in the afternoons. For information on California life jacket law and other information about them click here.

VHR Enforcement Update

The Police Department is following up on expired VHR permits to ensure compliance.

VHR phase out data for April of 2021 is:

  • 52 VHR permits expired in April and were closed
  • 13 are now changed to long term rentals (>30 days)
  • 18 removed all ads
  • 14 were advised to remove ads that show no availability
  • 2 received $1,000 citations for unpermitted VHR ads
  • 4 sold
  • 7 additional VHR permits were closed due to the home being sold or other reasons
  • 1 now QHVR

As of May 1, 2021 there are 741 VHR’s remaining in residential areas.

Year to date monthly data on VHR phase out statistics can be found on the City of South Lake Tahoe’s web page under “City Services” and “Police Department”. For more information go here.

Join Local Government

Are you looking for a way to participate in Local Government? The City Council is currently soliciting applications for appointment to the following Board and Commission:

Building Board of Appeals: (Two-Year Term) The City Council will be appointing at least three (2) members, but no more than five (4) members to serve a two-year term on the Building Board of Appeals. Applicants must reside and be domiciled within the Tahoe Basin portion of El Dorado County. The Building Board of Appeals meets on an as needed basis.

Police Advisory Commission:(Two-Year Staggered Term) City Council will be appointing three (3) members to serve two-year terms (date of appointment - February 2023) and two (2) members to serve one-year terms (date of appointment – February 2022). Two members will be reserved for members of the Multicultural Alliance and three members will be available to the general public. In the event two members from the Multicultural Alliance do not apply or are not selected by City Council, then the 2 positions will be available to the general public. The Applicants shall reside within the Tahoe Basin portion of El Dorado County. The Police Advisory Commission will meet monthly or quarterly as needed.

Applications: Applications may be obtained at the City Clerk's Office located at 1901 Lisa Maloff Way, South Lake Tahoe, California between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications can also be downloaded from the City's website at www.cityofslt.us, mailed, faxed or emailed to interested parties upon request to the City Clerk's Office. Completed applications must be returned to the City Clerk's Office (email preferred sblankenship@cityofslt.us) no later than 5:00 p.m., on Friday, July 16, 2021.

The City Council will be making the appointments at the August 3, 2021, regularly scheduled meeting. For questions, please contact Susan Blankenship, City Clerk at 542-6005 or via email at sblankenship@cityofslt.us

City Council and Planning Commission In-Person Meetings Resume!

The City Clerk’s Department is happy to announce the City Council and Planning Commission will resume in-person meetings on June 15 and June 10, 2021, respectively. The City Council chambers will have limited audience capacity on a first-come first-served basis. The City Hall lobby will be designated for overflow audience members. Current Cal OSHA mask and social distancing requirements will be strictly followed. Planning Commission and City Council meetings are live-streamed on Channel 21, on the City’s website at www.cityofslt.us, and via ZOOM. Remote public participation will continue to be offered via telephone and the ZOOM platform.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 72 hours prior to the meeting with specific live and remote participation details. Questions regarding in-person meetings may be directed to Susan Blankenship, City Clerk at sblankenship@cityofslt.us or (530) 542-6005.

Increasing inclusion through Spanish Interpretation!

The City Clerk’s Department is pleased to announce, Spanish interpretation will be offered via ZOOM platform beginning with the June 15 City Council and June 10 Planning Commission meetings. As a part of the City’s Strategic Plan to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, the City Clerk’s Department will continue to expand translation and interpreter services to increase public accessibility and engagement.

The public may access Spanish interpretation using the ZOOM link listed on the front of the Agenda from an internet device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, home computer) with audio capabilities and selecting the Spanish language option. Persons without an internet device may attend the meeting in-person and a device will be provided while supplies last.

Requests for interpreter services to offer public comment may be made by contacting the City Clerk. The City Clerk is committed to addressing language interpretation requests swiftly in order to maximize public participation. Meeting agendas will be available in English and Spanish at least 72 hours prior to the meeting with specific live and remote participation details.

¡Aumentando la inclusión a través de la interpretación española!

El Departamento del Secretario Municipal se complace en anunciar, la interpretación española se ofrecerá a través de la plataforma ZOOM a partir de las reuniones del Ayuntamiento del 15 de junio y de la Comisión de Planificación del 10 de junio. Como parte del Plan Estratégico de la Ciudad para apoyar la diversidad, la equidad y la inclusión, el Departamento del Secretario Municipal continuará ampliando los servicios de traducción e intérprete para aumentar la accesibilidad y la participación del público.

El público puede acceder a la interpretación en español utilizando el enlace ZOOM que aparece en la parte frontal de la Agenda, desde un dispositivo de Internet (teléfono inteligente, portátil, tableta, computadora doméstica) con capacidades de audio y seleccionando la opción en español. Las personas sin dispositivo de Internet pueden asistir a la reunión en persona y se proporcionará un dispositivo mientras duren los suministros.

Las solicitudes de servicios de intérprete para ofrecer comentarios públicos pueden hacerse poniéndose en contacto con el Secretario de la Ciudad. El Secretario municipal se compromete a atender rápidamente las solicitudes de interpretación lingüística con el fin de maximizar la participación pública. Las agendas de las reuniones estarán disponibles en inglés y español al menos 72 horas antes de la reunión con detalles específicos de participación en vivo y remota.

Improvements Being Made to Local Housing Stock

The City Council has established housing as a strategic priority for the City of South Lake Tahoe. Like many communities throughout California and Nation, the City of South Lake Tahoe is experiencing an extremely tight supply of available housing. While efforts continue to develop more affordable housing units for residents, the City is continuing its monitoring and inspection of all multi-family residential properties and residential use hotels/motels (a.k.a. Single Room Occupancy (SRO) properties) in order to protect public health and improve the overall quality of the housing stock.

Despite interior unit inspections being place on hold during the pandemic, 1,153 out of the total 2,373 units regulated under the programs are currently classified as “exceptional” with significant improvements currently being made on multiple properties. The City will be increasing its efforts to work with all property owners to reach compliance with the applicable City Codes and ensure resident health and safety.

Join us for Community Conversations on Wednesday, June 30th

Come talk to your City leaders about the issues that matter to you! The focus of Community Conversations will include participatory budgeting and prioritization of projects for the City's American Rescue Plan monies. The meeting will be held via Zoom starting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 30th. To join go here.

Credits:

Photo Credits for background images (in sequential order) (1) Shutterstock image (2) Cave Rock Summer-Kim De Young (3) Pixaby image (4) Pixaby image (5) Pixaby image (6) Pixaby image (7) Pixaby image (8) Pixaby image (9) Pixaby image (10) Pixaby image (11) Pixaby image (12) Shutterstock image (13) Shutterstock image