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

Sign up for the City Newsletter

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.

City Council DISCUSSES Strategic Priorities FOR cITY OF sOUTH lAKE tAHOE

On Tuesday, January 19th, City Council held their Strategic Planning Advance meeting which outlined the City's Strategic Priorities along with their Mission, Vision and Values.

The City initially developed the Strategic Priorities in early 2019. At the City Council's March 25, 2020 Special Meeting, City Council directed staff to bring forward an action item to establish a Council Ad Hoc subcommittee known as the Transformative Change Committee. This committee was formed to conduct an examination of a long-term economic development and recovery strategy for the City of South Lake Tahoe. The committee developed a Recommendations Report which served as a guiding document for developing a set of strategic priorities with the ultimate objective to develop a 5-year Strategic Plan to serve as a "blueprint" for the City Council.

The Strategic Priorities that emerged as common themes were:

  • Built Environment
  • Recreation and Equitable Access
  • Community for All
  • Economic Development
  • Continuous Improvement

The works produced from the Transformative Change Committee, input from the public and the City's Senior Management Team from the prior year were presented during the Strategic Planning Advance Meeting. The City Manager reviewed the Mission, Vision and Value Statements and the Strategic Priorities and Goals and asked for City Council's recommendations and validation. The final draft of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan will be presented at the March 2nd City Council Meeting for adoption.

Multi-cultural alliance

The City’s new Multicultural Alliance Subcommittee was formed during the December 15, 2020 Council Meeting. The goals of the group, determined by leaders in South Lake Tahoe’s Latino and Filipino communities, include “fostering a sense of belonging, empowerment, and engagement among the diverse communities who live in South Lake Tahoe,” and “ensuring our issues are addressed by elected officials and the City of South Lake Tahoe.”

The group has hit the ground running. Recently, the Multicultural Alliance has met with Police Chief David Stevenson to discuss ways to increase communication and collaboration with diverse South Lake Tahoe communities. Group members are engaged in finding solutions to top priority issues including affordable housing.

In addition, the Multicultural Alliance is working on an upcoming online cultural event with South Lake Tahoe’s sister city, Ameca, Mexico. More details will be announced once this event is scheduled. 

Those interested in participating in the Multi-cultural Alliance may contact City Council representatives John Friedrich (jfriedrich@cityofslt.us) or Cody Bass (cbass@cityofslt.us)

Virtual Health and Fitness Programs Support Wellbeing During the Pandemic

The City’s Recreation Services Department aspires to work collaboratively to provide accessible and engaging recreation experiences throughout the South Shore. The pandemic has created challenges for patrons to continue to enjoy the many benefits of in-person programs and has given rise to “virtual” platforms to keep people engaged, connected, and improve overall fitness.

The City along with partner agencies and fitness professionals have managed to provide virtual access to a variety of programs and services to keep you and your family safe during the pandemic. From children’s activities, to adult fitness, to senior programs and resources, virtual programs are designed to provide a safe and accessible outlet for citizens of all ages.

The City’s aerobic dance instructors continue to provide virtual classes designed to dance your way into fitness. Both Jazzercise and Zumba are offering virtual classes. Jazzercise blends Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and strength training in a fun, dance party workout atmosphere. Local Jazzercise instructors offer virtual classes Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 am. Zumba is also offering a virtual class every Saturday at 11:00am. Zumba takes the ‘work’ out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. To sign up for a virtual aerobic dance class please go here.

For local youth, the South Lake Tahoe Junior Giants Program is available through the On Demand virtual program. The program provides over 150 videos and downloadable activities to support the four bases of character development: Confidence ~ Integrity ~ Leadership~ Teamwork. Programs include a Word of the Week academic exercise and physical skills and drills led by SF Giants coaching staff to perform in your own backyard! Access to the free program is available here.

For senior citizens, the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center continues to provide daily meals to every qualifying senior provided by El Dorado County Nutrition Services. To sign up for either meals on wheels or on-site meal pick up, contact the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center Nutrition Services at 530-573-3130. In addition to meals, the El Dorado County Older Adult Services Department offers many support services to seniors over the phone and by appointment. For more details go here. Another valuable resource for seniors suffering from isolation and loneliness is the Friendship Line. For more details go here.

City Participates in Lawsuit Against FCC to Preserve Local Control

On January 11, the City of South Lake Tahoe joined the League of California Cities and dozens of other cities from California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Florida in an opening brief filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge a recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). That FCC ruling, issued on June 10, 2020, established new interpretations of federal law that further limit local governments’ ability to regulate certain wireless communication facilities.

The FCC ruling limits cities’ ability to regulate “eligible facilities requests” by shortening the “shot clock” time in which cities must process applications and making more and larger modifications to existing facilities eligible for the limited review process for those requests. The cities’ brief argues that the FCC’s ruling is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, and violates federal law. The cities are represented by Tripp May and the Telecom Law Firm, who recently assisted the City of South Lake Tahoe in drafting its wireless communication facility ordinance. A decision is expected from the court later this year or early 2022.

Police Department Recruitment

The Police Department continues to recruit for multiple positions including Community Service Officer, Police Officer, and Public Safety Dispatcher. We are currently in the process of completing the backgrounds for several of these positions.

Anyone interested in working for the City is encouraged to go to the following website to view available jobs and to be notified via email when a specific job recruitment opens. The application process is easy and is completed all online.

Don't forget to pick up your Trash!

The Police Department is reminding everyone to please be respectful of our beautiful city and to always PICK UP YOUR TRASH (And broken sleds are trash too!) If you don’t see a trash can please keep the trash in your car and throw it away later. Dropping or leaving trash on the ground is a violation of the CA Penal Code, Vehicle Code, and the SLT City Code. In addition, trash pollutes the lake, is bad for wildlife, and makes the beautiful place we live in ugly. We are also doing a Public Service Announcement for visitors to remind them to pick up their trash.

Stay safe while Sledding in Tahoe

Looking for a safe place to sled or play in the snow? There are many commercial locations available along with safe locations on national forest lands out of the city and away from busy roadways. For a list of commercial locations in Lake Tahoe go here.

Recently, there has been a lot of activity at the top of Ski Run Blvd. Please remember: There is no sledding or parking allowed at the “top” of Ski Run Blvd. Visitors are advised to stay out of that area as well! The Police Department has been and will continue enforcing parking violations on Ski Run Blvd and adjacent streets. Sledding on any city street is a violation of the SLT City Code (7.05.020) and is subject to administrative citations.

Winter Guidelines for Temporarily Relocating Restaurant Seating Outdoors

During restaurant capacity restrictions associated with COVID public health safety measures, restaurants may relocate existing indoor seating to the outdoors. Although this option provides an opportunity for restaurants to continue serving diners, winter conditions in Tahoe present some challenges. The City Building Division and Fire Department have put together guidelines for restaurant owners to reference when considering providing outdoor dining. The guidelines provide options for addressing safety concerns such as fire hazards, structural collapse, accessibility and general patron safety.

Did you Know?

Each time a hotel or motel property is sold, Finance staff conduct an audit of all Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) paid and the associated property records supporting the payments.

Section 3.50 of the South Lake Tahoe city code provides in part: If any owner and/or operator of any business or the real property upon which such business is operated sells, transfers, assigns, leases or otherwise quits the business, and any person who takes ownership or operation of the business and/or real property upon which such business is operated shall, in escrow, or otherwise, pay such amount in full. The amount to be paid shall be determined by an audit for the last three fiscal years of the property being transferred conducted by the city, less the security deposit, if any, held by the city. No escrow shall be allowed to close concerning any property subject to this chapter unless sufficient funds are retained in escrow to cover any delinquency and paid over to the city from the escrow upon demand; provided, however, that such audit shall, in all cases, be completed within a reasonable period of time after all records necessary to the audit have been provided to the city. All sums deemed due the city at the completion of the audit shall be paid to the city at the completion of the audit, shall be paid to the city by the escrow holder upon written demand of the finance director.

Records audited include TOT payment history, property financial statements, bank records, income tax returns and other items as deemed necessary to validate the TOT filings made to the City.

From 10/1/2015 to 9/30/2019 the Finance department completed 21 TOT audits resulting in revenues of $306,900. In fiscal year 2019/2020 the Finance department initiated 13 audits, but only 4 were completed due to factors such as properties falling out of escrow and COVID delaying and or preventing information gathering. These audits produced $56,781 in revenue for the City. So far in fiscal year 2020/2021, the Finance department has initiated 8 audits, completed 4 audits from the previous fiscal year and 3 from the current fiscal year. The resulting revenue as of January 2021 is $124,370.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Department Participates in National Moment of Unity and Remembrance

Like most of the Fire Department’s endeavors, we partner with other stakeholders; the pandemic is no different. Through a partnership with Lake Valley Fire Protection District, and the Cal Tahoe JPA (ambulance provider), the Fire Department hosted a COVID-19 national memorial bell ringing on January 19th at 5:30EST in conjunction with the federal government. The Memorial was set forth "to join Washington, D.C. in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance."

Fire Department Staff participates in training with El Dorado County to administer COVID Vaccine

With 2021 underway, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue is starting off the new year with a focus of getting ahead of the pandemic through vaccinations and being a champion for the community in containing the spread. With the City’s firefighters being identified by the State as the first tier to receive the Moderna vaccine, the Fire Department’s staff received training through assistance from the El Dorado County Emergency Medical Services Agency in order to administer the vaccine to one another. With this training came the ability to also administer the vaccine to community members. With the firefighters able and willing, they were enthusiastic to host vaccination clinics to our beloved citizens. With the majority of the City’s firefighters living within the community, there is a sense of ownership and pride being able to assist our neighbors with obtaining the COVID vaccine; an opportunity to lead the path out of the pandemic.


City offices will be officially closed on Monday, February 15th in Observance of President's Day.


Created with images by Josh Clemence - "Island on a mountain lake" • Nathan Dumlao - "untitled image" • skeeze - "lake tahoe dusk landscape" • Ethan Dow - "untitled image" - "lake tahoe california water"