EASTERN PLACER COUNTY TOWN HALL RECAP
On Thursday, June 10, I joined County staff and other Public Agencies for a Virtual Eastern Placer County Town Hall. I want to thank all of the panelists that participated and I hope you can see how hard everybody’s working. We are trying to focus on getting some pretty big projects done and direct our energy where we can best make a difference for North Lake Tahoe and Eastern Placer County. We had a great meeting with a lot of valuable information pertaining to our region – especially as we head into another busy summer.
I want to follow-up with a brief recap of the meeting. In addition, I included everyone’s contact information in the event you’d like to learn more. You will also find a link to a recording of the meeting in case you were unable to attend or simply want to revisit one of the topics.
Placer County is seeing the lowest covid & hospitalization rates since September! County wide, the case rate is about 3 cases per 100K and testing positivity rate of less than 2%, and even lower in Eastern Placer. We can attribute this to the high effectiveness of the vaccine – Placer County has over 380,000 does in arms. The pace of vaccination has slowed down – 600 per day vs 4000 per day back in April. Some communities have high rates, such as Tahoe City, and other communities have lower rates, such as Kings Beach having one of the lower rates in the County. Kings Beach has demographic factors working against it, such as a younger population as well as lower rates of vaccine uptake among the Latino population. Placer County offered a pop up clinic in the beginning of the month that didn’t have as much traffic as we had hoped – about 60 vaccinations between the two nights.
Presenter: Dr. Rob Oldham, Placer County Director of Health and Human Services, Interim Public Health Officer & Chief Psychiatrist
2020 was the worst recorded fire season in California history and 2021 is not looking good. There’s a huge increase this year due to the lack of snow and rain in our area. On May 1 the snowpack was at 59% of normal and there were no late spring rains. Fire spread predictions are approximately 6 weeks ahead of normal and the fires we’ve had are extremely hot and fast moving. An update of what they have done and are doing include:
• 712 hazard piles burned last season in the Tahoe region
• 58 acres high hazard area treated
• 97 hazard trees were dropped
• Residential burning has been suspended
• Peak staffing levels – 411 State funded personnel in the Nevada Yuba Placer Unit
• 27 staffed engines, 5 type 1 hand crews, 4 bulldozers (1 prepositioned on the east side as conditions warrant), 1 air attack, and 2 air tankers
Presenter: Chief Mike Rufenacht
LOCAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS
North Tahoe Fire, Truckee Fire, Northstar Fire, + Olympic Valley Fire
Our area is operationally consolidated – which means all of our local Fire Districts including North Tahoe, Truckee, Northstar, Olympic Valley and Incline Village are on the same dispatch and frequency out of Grass Valley – allowing the closest resource to respond to the emergency no matter the jurisdiction as well as share resources. All our fire chiefs took to the same page as CalFire and noted that we are in an exceptionally dry year and that we all need to be prepared for the fire season. Please remember, that in addition to the suspension of residential burning, campfires and charcoal outside of campgrounds are banned. They also emphasized the importance of defensible space around your home. Another important reminder, all fireworks are illegal in unincorporated Placer County.
Please SIGN UP FOR PLACER ALERT – It is the single best way to stay informed in an emergency.
PLAN, PREPARE, STAY AWARE + EVACUATION
Be prepared, know your evacuation routes, and listen to law enforcement! Please remember evacuations are a very coordinated effort between all law enforcement, fire districts, Caltrans, and our county roads – it’s a big ordeal that includes a lot of people at once. In the event of an evacuation, please remain calm, follow the instructions of the emergency personnel and have an action plan ready before the fire strikes. Have your kit ready to go for every family member, know at least two ways out of your neighborhood, and have all your apps, alerts and social media pages followed – they will constantly be pushing out messages immediately and as fast as they can. Don’t wait for the evacuation order – if you feel threatened, leave – and leave as soon as the evacuation is recommended by any fire officials. Depending on where the fire is located, law enforcement will determine which evacuation route is best, and officials will be placed in strategic areas to direct people where to go. Please don’t stop to try and ask questions – trust they are directing you a safe way to get as many people out as possible.
IMPORTANT WILDFIRE RESOURCES:
- Placer Sierra Fire Safe Council
- Ready for Wildfire webpage
- Homeowner’s checklist
- Defensible space information
- Prepare for quick evacuation
- Build an emergency kit
- Sign up for Placer Alert
ADDITIONAL PUBLIC AGENCY UPDATES
UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE
If you’re a homeowner that abuts the forest and you’d like to implement that hundred feet of defensible space behind your property out into the forest, we have that capability to do so to get you that permission fairly quickly to implement. Recreation updates included Sugar Bowl Snow Play, Tahoe National Forest Truckee Ranger District recently approved 35 miles of native surface trail open to class 1 e-bike, and they are looking to formalize the Cabin Creek parking into a more professional manner with a hard surface for plowing, greater capacity and better winter access.
Presenter: Jonathan Cook-Fisher, District Ranger
CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL/ CHP
We are expecting a busier summer than last year with more visitors – which means the California Highway Patrol will target everything they normally do including speeding, DUIs, seatbelts, distracted driving, cell phones as well as be all around the lake doing their normal parking enforcement. In addition, CHP will have their bike patrol out all summer long which also helps with community engagement.
Presenter: Lt. Matt Tweed
PLACER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
On June 5 at 10pm, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call that came from a residence in Homewood, in North Lake Tahoe. Deputies arrived to the home and located 70-year old Robert Gary Spohr, who was found deceased as a result of a single gunshot wound. Surveillance captured this video of a male who was seen on foot around the property at the time of the incident. Anyone with information on this homicide and any surveillance systems located along West Lake Boulevard is being urged to call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office tip line at: (530) 889-7853.
Presenter: Lt. Paul Long
TAHOE CITY PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT
Boat Launches around the lake are closing due to low water levels creating an increasing demand at the Lake Forest Boat Ramp. In response, TCPUD closed the campground to provide overflow boat trailer parking which creates 24 additional spots. They also announced their newest property, the Tahoe City Community Center, located at the old Maritime Museum, 401 West Lake Blvd. The property includes 11 acres with a 2-story log building. They are preparing the grounds, gardens, casibo, ponds, and electrical for outdoor concerts – available for rent for public/private events plus staff on the 2nd story of log building.
Presenter: Kay Bernston, Parks Facilities Superintendent
NORTH TAHOE PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT
Rehabilitation is underway for the sewer pump stations at Tahoe Vista and Moon Dunes. The new sewer pump and upgraded electrical equipment will make the systems much more reliable. You can still access both beaches while under construction. Also, their crews recently removed synthetic turf on field 4 at the North Tahoe Regional Park with the new turf expected to done this fall. They are also working on a new paved pathway into the tennis courts. And the low lake level forced NTUD to shut down the Tahoe Vista boat ramp.
Presenter: Justin Broglio, Public Information Officer
NEW SUMMER SERVICES
This microtransit pilot program will be operated by downtowner, managed by Placer County Department of Public Works, Transit division. Starting on June 24 through September 6, Placer County will be offering free curb-to-curb transit service across the North Shore with service zones that include West Shore, Tahoe City, Dollar Point, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Brockway, Crystal Bay, and Incline Village. This free service will offer 8 vehicles that will run daily from 8am to midnight, offering vans that hold up to 9 people as well as bike racks and ada compliant vehicle available upon request. Request your ride using the TART Connect App, available for download now! We invite you to join us for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this Friday, June 25 at 10am at the North Tahoe Event Center followed by a post ribbon cutting reception from 11:30am-1pm.
Presenter: Lindsay Romack, Management Analyst, Placer CEO’s Office
Let’s work together to educate our visitors and our locals about taking care of this special place that we all get to live in and be stewards of.
TAKE CARE TAHOE
Take Care Tahoe is the unified stewardship campaign for the entire Tahoe region. Their messages are designed to be witty and stand out but also be straight to the point, with the mission of connecting people to Tahoe and inspiring a culture of responsibility and respect. Outdoor recreation exploded quite a bit and to help avoid some of those issues, Take Care Tahoe has implemented a useful website where visitors can really connect and learn more about the Tahoe region including public beach information, biking information, maps, public transportation information, trail information, volunteer resources, and guided hikes. To compliment the site, they offer a lot of in situation signage available for purchase. In addition they implemented on the ground education with their Take Care Ambassadors program – offering five different programs and totaling 75 ambassadors.
Presenter: Crew Stover, Program & Outreach Coordinator
The magic of Lake Tahoe lies in the culture of our communities and the natural beauty that surrounds us. Together we’re asking community members and travelers alike to follow six pledge commitments that amplify environmental stewardship efforts. The traveler responsibility pledge reminds us to travel with awareness and observe the impact of individual actions. Take the pledge + watch the video
Presenter: Jeff Hentz, CEO NLTRA
CLEAN TAHOE PROGRAM
Clean Tahoe is a nonprofit organization based in South Lake Tahoe with a proven track record to assist communities with litter and garbage abatement. Placer County and other neighboring jurisdictions in the region are collectively contributing funding to Clean Tahoe to have them address and clean up litter hotspots. This program will complement the Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Service, because while they take care of all of our trash, they’re not set up to do the boots on the ground litter patrol. The whole idea here is not to worry about jurisdictional boundaries – when someone from the public sees a problem trash can, it doesn’t matter whose can it is, they can call it up. Launch is planned for the end of the month.
Presenter: Peter Kraatz, Assistant Director of Public Works
As we head into summer, our noise complaints are going to go up as people are outdoors and windows are open. We do have a very full enforcement schedule and our staff is available with very few gaps throughout the week. We are hoping that the ordinance continues to work as it has with our local contacts resolving issues and really limiting the impact on our neighborhoods. Please call our 24/7 hotline at 530-448-8003 to report a violation and speak directly to enforcement staff.
JAN-MAY 2021 complaints | 83
- Noise | 43
- Trash | 8
- Parking | 21
- Occupancy | 1
- Permit requirements | 10
Presenter: Jayme Paine, Supervising Code Compliance Officer
Tahoe City Downtown Access Improvement Project | This project is designed to improve vehicular circulation and access to parking in the downtown core of Tahoe City to address existing commercial development in parking. The environmental document for this project was recently approved by our Board of Supervisors and we are now commencing with detail, design and looking into securing funding. Target construction date for this project is 2023.
Traffic Crossing Guards Program | We’ve again hired a contractor to provide pedestrian flaggers at high-volume crosswalks in both Tahoe City and Kings Beach. The locations include the Commons Beach Road crosswalk at Hwy 28 in Tahoe City, and the four crosswalks at the two roundabouts in Kings Beach. The contractor will typically perform the work on Thursdays at Commons Beach, and Saturdays and Sundays in Kings Beach – usually from about 12-4 pm to capture the highest volumes of pedestrians and help with improving vehicular flow through the two town centers.
Pilot Signalization of Grove St & Hwy 28 | We’ve been working with Caltrans for over a year to get permitting to deploy a temporary signal to improve car and pedestrian safety and control their movements at this high volume intersection. We will monitor traffic conditions to determine how effective it is and whether we want to consider a permanent signal. We’re excited to launch this in July and we’ll run it for as long as we can, until the snow flies.
Our Roads | We have 150 miles of roads between North Lake Tahoe, West Shore and up to the Serene Lakes area. We are planning to perform surface treatments in the Regency Way neighborhood. We hope to address the Timberland neighborhood next year.
Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program | This long standing program addresses requests by various neighbors on our County roads asking about traffic calming and what can be done about slowing down cars. The most recent one is on Fairway Dr. In Tahoe City and the Board of Supervisors recently approved building three speed cushions to be spread out along the road.
Truckee River Trail and Access Plan | We still need to do about 25 miles of trail which is primarily in Martis Valley and then and then along the Truckee River. We plan to launch into the formal environmental analysis effort on July 9, opening the formal notice of for comments by the public and then closing on August 8 with a public meeting on July 21 during that period.
Martis Valley Trail | Construction has begun to connect the East end of Martis Valley up to Northstar Drive. Hopefully next year another section of trail will fill the gap so we’ll have a paved trail all the way from the Town of Truckee into Placer County and up to Northstar Drive.
Presenter: Peter Kraatz, Assistant Director of Public Works
Tahoe City Lodge | We are pleased to announce that this project is moving forward and have been working with a development team on finalizing their improvement plans. We hope to have a building permit issued towards the end of summer so that they can get their footing set before winter comes.
Sugar Bowl Tube Park | This project is located on the north side of Sugar Bowl Resort, west of Lake Mary and will include 600 feet with 2 sets of five parallel groomed runs and a centrally located magic carpet on 7.75 acres owned by Sugar Bowl Resort and USFS. It also includes snow making equipment, 206 parking stalls, temporary service structure for phase one with a permanent facility in phase two. Project is scheduled for Zoning Administrator public hearing on July 15.
Brockway North Hotel | Predevelopment application for a potential mixed use redevelopment project at 8602 North Lake Blvd and includes a 4-story building with 21-unit boutique hotel, 9 condo units, restaurant, retail, meeting/seminar room, outdoor public performance site/playground/public art. Expect public outreach in late summer.
Tahoe Inn Workforce Housing | Predevelopment application for a potential workforce housing redevelopment project at 9937 North Lake Blvd at Stateline and includes 51 multi-family and 60 multi-person units in 2-3 story buildings and about 2,000 square feet of commercial use. No formal application submitted to date.
Presenter: Crystal Jacobsen, Deputy CDRA Director
LIBRARIES | We will start a feasibility and analysis of both our Kings Beach and Tahoe City libraries. Not only do we need a larger library in Kings Beach, but we’re looking at a potential relocation into the Kings Beach Center if that moves forward. We are also looking at a potential relocation of the Tahoe City library to a more visible spot. In addition, we are checking into a regional system by creating a partnership with Truckee. You’ll hear more about that as well as outreach regarding our local libraries so we can analyze how we can best adjust our services and potentially expand.
SUDDENLINK | We are looking into passing a County ordinance so we can start to fine Suddenlink for their service meeting certain standards including lack of investment and customer responses. Please forward your concerns along to our office – we are keeping a log and forwarding them off to Suddenlink.
TRANSPORTATION FUNDING | We need to find a regional revenue stream to sustain and expand our micro mass programs throughout our entire region year-round as well as make that a part of the way we live up here. Our systems are not seamless nor fully connected and we will continue to look into free, frequent service in the Basin.
BIOMASS | Placer County, surrounding counties and special districts are looking into ways we can stop paying money to haul our wood off the hill by trying find a local biomass plant. In addition, we’re collaborating on ways we can use that energy and wood product right here in our region.
HOUSING | It is beyond a crisis! It is a horrible situation for our employers and employees that are being kicked out of their homes. Our region is losing long-term rental space at a very rapid rate and we are working every opportunity we can to revise ordinances to ease the situation so we can get some housing projects going. We are way behind and none of us anticipated Covid and the pressure it created for our community. We all know this is a very challenging time. I encourage you to join our July 27 Tahoe Board of Supervisors Meeting for a more thorough report on housing updates.
Thank you to the incredible dedication of so many of our county staff and local agencies, I’m so impressed with everybody’s efforts.
Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor
The once-a-decade process of revising Placer County’s supervisorial district boundaries gets underway June 24 with the first in a series of public meetings with an Advisory Redistricting Commission. The Placer County Advisory Redistricting Commission, which is set to consider amendments to the boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts later this year, will host a public meeting at 10:10 a.m. on June 24 at the Community Development Resource Agency in North Auburn. LEARN MORE
Placer County is now providing free building plans to homeowners interested in constructing an accessory home on their property, saving thousands in building costs, while helping to increase the county’s stock of affordable housing As of March 8, Placer County has received 24 applications, 16 permits issued and 89 accessory home inquiries in 2021. LEARN MORE
175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603
Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@
District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.
District Aide Sophie Fox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant District Aide Lindsay Thayer: email@example.com