Safeway Open to Purchase Offers; TART Celebrates 1 Million Rides; Volunteer to Clean Up Local Beaches; TDPUD Adopts New Plans; More

Briefs: April 12-18, 2024

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News Briefs

TART Connect Has Provided Over 1 Million Rides

TAHOE CITY 

The Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit micro-transit service TART Connect has now provided over 1 million rides in the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region. The service was originally rolled out in Placer and Washoe counties in June 2021 and implemented throughout the North Shore and the Town of Truckee in the years since. It relieves traffic congestion by offering curb-to-curb, on-demand service.

TART Connect is available throughout the North Shore and Truckee with four zones in Placer County, one in Incline Village and Crystal Bay, and one in the Town of Truckee.

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Last summer, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Tahoe Downtowner to continue TART Connect service through June 30, 2024. A total of $2,685,526 in transient occupancy tax funds was approved to serve the Placer County zones in the North Lake Tahoe region through the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work Program.

TART Connect expanded into Truckee in June 2022. Thanks to an expansion, TART transit system’s ridership in Truckee has increased by over 500% from 2 years ago.

To use TART Connect, download the mobile app or call (530) 553-0653 to reserve a trip and be picked up in as few as 15 minutes. 

Learn more about micro-transit in the region and TART Connect here.

~ Placer County press release

Rocker Memorial Skatepark Receives Large Grant

TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation presented the Truckee-Donner Recreation and& Park District (TDRPD) with a $100,000 check at the March meeting of its board of directors. The funds were awarded as a part of the foundation’s 2024 grant cycle, and are specifically designated for construction of the Rocker Memorial Skatepark (RMSP), a grassroots effort underway in partnership with TDRPD.

RMSP is working on building a 25,000-square-foot expansion of the existing skate park in the Truckee Regional Park that will create a world-class facility for action sport athletes of all abilities with modern skating elements. The existing skatepark is 7,000 -square -feet and was constructed in 1999. Participation in action sports has increased exponentially since its construction, resulting in the overcrowding and a lack of diverse terrain options. 

GRANT FOR ROCKER: Colin Robinson, Taylor Carlton, Jasmine Watts, and Shelby Jones (left to right) of the Rocker Skateboard Park Initiative were presented a check from the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation. Courtesy photo

RMSP is completing the permitting process with the Town of Truckee, after being approved in June of 2022. Volunteers from RMSP have been working for years to get through this process, proving the skatepark can be built. Bolstered by this progress, fundraising efforts are experiencing a renewed vigor by project supporters. The grant award by the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, along with committed community support from local businesses (in-kind donations of materials and labor), helps the project work towards the funding level necessary to start construction. 

RMSP will continue to raise funds in partnership with TDRPD through donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraising events. The Rally for Rocker, a backcountry banked slalom sanctioned by Tahoe National Forest, is being held on Saturday, April 27, on Donner Summit. Funds raised from this event go directly towards funding goals. Event sponsorships are available.

~ RMSP press release

Call for Environmental Achievement Nominations

LAKE TAHOE

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is calling for nominations for projects completed in 2022 or 2023 that display outstanding environmental design for the 31st Best in Basin awards. Nominations are due by May 17 at 5 p.m.

TRPA’s annual Best in Basin awards program showcases projects and programs around Lake Tahoe that demonstrate exceptional planning, implementation, and compatibility with the lake’s natural environment and communities. The categories are:

  • Water Quality and Watershed Restoration
  • Climate Resilience and Sustainability
  • Affordable Housing and Community Revitalization
  • Transportation and Sustainable Recreation
  • Forest Health and Defensible Space
  • Science and Innovation

For more than 3 decades, the Best in Basin awards have recognized property owners, contractors, architects, and planners in the public and private sectors whose work and investment stand out as excellent examples of environmental design.

Only projects completed between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2023, are eligible. Winners will be selected by a panel of local professionals in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning, engineering, or resource management. For the nomination form and information about past winners, visit trpa.gov/how-we-operate/awards.

~ TRPA press release

BEACH CLEANUP: Join the community in a clean-up of Sand Harbor State Park. Courtesy graphic

Shoreline Sweep at Sand Harbor State Park

INCLINE VILLAGE

Join Sand Harbor State Park this Earth Day, April 22, for the first annual clean-up event with rangers and other community members to clean Sand Harbor beaches. Trash collected will be utilized in a new display at the Sand Harbor Visitor Center in collaboration with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Sand Harbor Visitor Center to check in. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers. Participants should let park staff know they are there to volunteer.

A limited amount of buckets and trash grabbers will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be a brief introduction at 9:30 a.m. The sweep will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Contact Marisa Cook at (775) 831-0494 or marisa.cook@parks.nv.gov for more information. 

~ Nevada Division of State Parks press release

New Planning Effort Launched

EL DORADO COUNTY

El Dorado County is requesting public input while it develops the Tahoe El Dorado (TED) Area Plan. The TED Area Plan is a long-term planning document that will update and incorporate the Meyers Area Plan and other communities in the Tahoe Basin area of the county. 

The density, look, and character of a community are defined by a variety of land use planning documents. In the Tahoe Basin, land use falls under the El Dorado County Zoning Ordinance and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Plan. Currently, the land use policies and zoning designations in some areas are in conflict with each other. This creates confusion about what is allowed and what can be built on these properties. Conflicting land use policies constrain new projects on those sites.

The goal of this planning effort is to create a single document to simplify permitting and streamline environmental review, allow the county to control land use policies and decisions based on each community’s needs, and incorporate TRPA code and state law updates — ultimately, establishing a better framework to advance housing and economic development.

The county has created an interactive website, tedareaplan.com, which features a survey and mapping tool to gather feedback on community attributes and opportunities.

The county will also be holding a series of workshops on the TED Area Plan. There is a Planning Commission workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 25, and a board of supervisors workshop on Tuesday, May 14. Additionally, the county is hosting four in-person community workshops in Tahoma, Meeks Bay, Meyers, and Fallen Leaf Lake.

  • June 3: Tahoma, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Marie Sluchak Community Park, corner of Pine Street and Wilson Avenue
  • June 4: Meeks Bay, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meeks Bay Fire Station 67, 8041 Hwy 89
  • June 5 : Meyers, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meyers Elementary School, 1095 E San Bernardino Ave.
  • June 6: Fallen Leaf Lake, ​6 to 7:30 p.m. at Fallen Leaf Lake Community Center, Price Lane

~ El Dorado County press release

TDPUD Adopts Resource Plan and Approves Stewardship Efforts

TRUCKEE

Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s board of directors oversaw a packed agenda at the April board meeting. After adopting TDPUD’s first-ever integrated resource plan, they also reviewed TDPUD’s report on electric power purchased in 2023. On the water side, they received the annual Consumer Confidence Reports detailing TDPUD’s water quality and approved two efforts that focus on local watershed stewardship.

Integrated Resource Plan: The board voted to adopt TDPUD’s new integrated resource plan. An IRP is a powerful tool for an electric utility; it outlines the anticipated power demand and supply for our community for the next 15 years.

To learn more about TDPUD’s energy planning efforts, visit tdpud.org/energy.

Purchase Power Review: The board also received the annual purchase power review for 2023. While the final portfolio stats for 2023 won’t be finalized until the fall, TDPUD is projected to have increased its percentage of renewable/clean energy to 64%, over 60% in 2022.

Water Consumer Confidence Reports: The California State Water Resources Control Board determined that TDPUD had “no reportable violations” in 2023, meaning Truckee’s tap water continues to be of the highest caliber.

Martis Valley Groundwater Basin Management Plan: The board awarded a contract to analyze the plan to GEI Consultants, with local Balanced Hydrologics as a subcontractor, to complete the 5-year GMP update. The community will have an opportunity to engage with the partner water agencies and consultants at a public meeting following the completion of the plan update.

Truckee River Watershed Council Partnership: The board approved a memorandum of understanding between multiple local water agencies with an interest in responsibly maintaining the Martis Valley Groundwater Basin and working together toward shared stewardship goals. TDPUD, Truckee River Watershed Council, Northstar Community Services District, and Placer County Water Agency will sign on to the MOU in an effort to formalize and expand on existing partnerships, which will better position the agencies to seek outside funding for stewardship projects.

~ TDPUD press release

New Advisory Committee Seeks Members

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The North Tahoe Community Alliance is seeking candidates for a new Transient Occupancy Tax Advisory Committee. The committee is being formed to merge the responsibilities of the former TOT and Capital Projects Advisory (CAP) Committees, streamline efforts to direct the roughly $10 million of TOT revenues generated by overnight stays in local hotels and short-term rentals in North Lake Tahoe, and broaden community input based on the seat make-up.

The TOT Advisory Committee will comprise 13 regional business and community representatives who will recommend TOT funding for projects and programs aligning with community priorities of the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work Program. This includes economic health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. Funding recommendations will be made to the NTCA Board of Directors, who then vote to recommend expenditures funded by TOT to the Placer County Board of Supervisors for final approval.

Committee positions require a 2-year commitment. Community members are invited to learn more about the committee, the application process, and apply online here by 5 p.m. Friday, May 10, to be considered. Applicants will be notified by Friday, May 31, if they have been recommended to the committee. The NTCA Board of Directors will seat the new committee at their Wednesday, June 5, meeting.

Email tara@northtahoecommunityalliance.com with questions about the application process. For information on all of the committees convened by the NTCA, visit northtahoecommunityalliance.com/who-we-are.

~ NTCA press release

Highway Construction Season Begins

PLACER/NEVADA/SIERRA COUNTIES 

Caltrans is alerting motorists of the potential for extended delays along Interstate 80 stretching between Colfax to the Nevada state line as several projects and emergency repairs get underway for the 2024 construction season.

Once all projects are active, delays across the corridor may reach up to a maximum of 2 hours. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, if possible. The schedule is subject to change or be delayed.

PLAN ACCORDINGLY: Construction is set to begin in several locations on I-80. Courtesy graphic

Crews are returning to the same areas as last year for emergency wheel rut repairs and concrete slab replacements. Work is currently underway within Location 1 between Colfax and Alta. Additional work within Locations 2 and 3 are expected to resume next week, followed by Locations 4 and 5 by the end of the April.

Additional projects within the corridor include the Monte Vista and Soda Springs pavement rehabilitation projects, and the Yuba Pass Separation overhead bridge replacement project. Crews will also replace the water lines at both the eastbound and westbound Donner Summit Rest Areas, which will require both facilities to be closed for the entire season. For more information visit the project page on the Caltrans District 3 website. The total cost estimate for all projects is more than $500 million.

The department will issue construction updates on X @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app.

~ Caltrans press release

Water Bottle Sales Give Back to Lake Tahoe

TAHOE CITY

Starting this spring, Tahoe Artesian Water is donating $1 from every case of still or sparkling water sold to the Tahoe Fund’s $1 for Tahoe program. 

SIP AND GIVE: Tahoe Artisan Water has joined the Tahoe Fund’s $1 for Tahoe program. Courtesy photo

“With plastic bottle bans taking effect in the Tahoe region, now is the perfect time to choose glass bottles or cans from Tahoe Artesian whenever you can’t get Tahoe tap,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. 

Tahoe Artesian Water is high quality, naturally alkaline, and sustainable. Sourced from a family-owned artesian well in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Tahoe Artesian Water spends decades being naturally filtered through the earthen layers of the mountains. It is bottled to order in Eco Glass high in the Tahoe National Forest. 

Donations collected through the $1 for Tahoe program contribute to the Tahoe Fund’s efforts to improve the Lake Tahoe environment, including supporting hiking and biking trails, watershed restoration projects, environmental stewardship programs, open spaces for wildlife habitat and scenic views, and more.

View Tahoe Artesian Water’s store locator for a list of locations to purchase, or buy online at tahoeartesian.com. Learn more about the $1 for Tahoe program and the Tahoe Fund at tahoefund.org.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

Thirteen Events Funded Through TBID Funds

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

At the recommendation of the volunteer Business and Chamber Advisory Committee, the North Tahoe Community Alliance (NTCA) Board of Directors awarded $192,500 in funding generated by the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID) to 13 events scheduled to take place in North Lake Tahoe later this year.

The events that received this latest round of funding include:

  • Passport to Dining, hosted by the North Tahoe Business Association
  • Labor Day Drone Show, hosted by the North Tahoe Business Association
  • Tahoe Nutcracker, hosted by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective
  • Great Gravel Race, hosted by Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association
  • Tahoe Music Alive
  • Tahoe Film Festival
  • Tahoe Trail 100, hosted by Northstar California
  • CA Enduro Series, hosted by Northstar California
  • Lake Tahoe Concours d’ Elegance, hosted by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation
  • Lake Tahoe Reggae Fest, hosted by PR Entertainment
  • Oktoberfest – The Village at Palisades Tahoe, hosted by the Palisades Village Neighborhood Company
  • Tahoe City Oktoberfest, hosted by the Tahoe City Downtown Association
  • Tahoe Literary Fest, hosted by Range of Light Media Group

Scoring and funding prioritization was based on how the events contribute to and benefit economic health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. Each event’s traffic management and sustainability plans were also evaluated, with organizers responsible for identifying and outlining how they will mitigate the impacts of tourism on the community and environment.

Learn more about the events funded here, which collectively total $652,000 in support of 31 events taking place in 2024, and about the TOT-TBID Dollars At Work program here.

~ NTCA press release

Help Clean Up the Lake

TAHOE CITY

Clean Up The Lake and Alpenglobal Capital will be hosting an event in Tahoe City for Earth Day at the Tahoe City Marina on, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn about Clean Up the Lake’s youth educational activities, meet the team, join clean-ups, and get involved in litter categorization and sorting. Participants will also learn about conservation dive projects in Lake Tahoe and other nearby lakes.

~ Clean Up the Lake press release

GET INVOLVED: Learn about Clean Up the Lake’s dive efforts and help with litter removal on Earth Day. Photo by Ludovic Fekete, Clean Up the Lake

Winter Fundraising Program Raises Over $100,000 for Local Schools 

TRUCKEE

The Excellence in Education Foundation announced the successful conclusion of its Skiing for Schools program, which raised $138,000 thanks to the generous participation of Northstar California/Vail Resorts EpicPromise, Homewood Mountain Resort, Palisades Tahoe, Tahoe Donner, Tahoe XC, Alpenglow Sports, Pacos Truckee, and Tahoe Dave’s.

Throughout the season, skiers and snowboarders were able to pre-purchase reduced-rate lift tickets, allowing people to hit the slopes while supporting local education. The proceeds from this year’s Skiing for Schools program will directly benefit public education within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

The funds raised will help fund grants for schools within the district, providing literature, STEAM supplies, art and music equipment, social-emotional support, and more. 

For more information about Skiing for Schools and other fundraising programs at Excellence in Education, or to learn how to support the foundation’s efforts, visit exined.org.

~ Excellence in Education press release 

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Forest Supervisor Departs Tahoe National Forest 

NEVADA CITY

Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Ilano is departing after 14 years. Ilano will join the Forest Service’s national office to lead the agency’s timber and biomass utilization initiative.  

During his tenure, Ilano had a particular focus on building partnerships between the Forest Service and a wide range of organizations and government entities. 

“Eli Ilano elevated the partnership between the County of Nevada and the U.S. Forest Service to new heights during his tenure as forest supervisor of the Tahoe National Forest, which occupies 195,000 acres of our heavily forested community,” said Nevada County executive officer Alison Lehman. “Together, we tackled not only forest health and wildfire prevention but also major recreational initiatives.” 

“With Eli’s innovative leadership the Tahoe National Forest has demonstrated an effective model of landscape-level shared stewardship, a model being adopted by forests across the west,” said Matt Millar of the National Forest Foundation. 

Ilano served as forest supervisor on the Tahoe National Forest from 2016 to 2024. Previously, he worked as deputy forest supervisor for both the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Ilano also served in an acting role as deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region.  

Previous to the Forest Service, Ilano served in roles for the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Senate, and in the nonprofit sector.  

As the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region conducts recruitment for the Tahoe National Forest Supervisor role, Matthew Jedra will serve as acting forest supervisor. Jedra joined the Tahoe National Forest as deputy forest supervisor in 2020. 

~ Tahoe National Forest press release

Six Community Leaders Join the NTCA Board 

TAHOE CITY

Six local community leaders were elected by the North Tahoe Community Alliance membership to join the volunteer board of directors. The seated board will help make recommendations about how to leverage TBID and TOT funds generated in the community. Each will serve a 3-year term.

2024 NTCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Pictured from left to right: DJ Ewan, Mike DeGroff, Jim Phelan, Sue Rae Irelan, Doug Burnett, Samir Tuma, Nicole Gorman, Kevin Drake, Jill Schott, Amy Ohran, Harry Hirsch, Stephanie Holloway. Not pictured: Dan Tester, Colin Perry, Ray Villaman, Dave Wilderotter, Devin Middlebrook. Courtesy photo

The NTCA board of directors guides the work of the organization in its responsibilities under the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID) that focus on destination stewardship and management, responsible tourism development, housing and transportation, and other stewardship initiatives.

The board includes six seats that are nominated by organizations and elected by members, and 10 designated seats also elected by members.

 The members who assumed their board positions at April’s meeting include:

  • North Tahoe Business Association (organization designated seat): Kevin Drake
  • Homewood Mountain Resort (organization designated seat): Harry Hirsch
  • Everline Resort & Spa (organization designated seat): Nicole Gorman
  • Placer County Board of Supervisors (organization designated seat): Sue Rae Irelan
  • At-large Activity, Business Sector: Jim Phelan, Tahoe City Marina
  • At-large #1: Samir Tuma, Tahoe City Lodge

In addition, the full board elected its new executive committee, with Sue Rae Irelan named as board chair. Jill Schott will serve as vice chair, Ray Villaman as board secretary, DJ Ewan as treasurer, and Samir Tuma will contribute to the executive committee as past-chair.

 The balance of the NTCA board includes:

  • North Shore Lodging/Property Management seat: Jill Schott, Tahoe Moon Properties
  • Northstar California seat: Amy Ohran
  • Northstar Business Association, Doug Burnett
  • Olympic Valley Business Association seat: Dan Tester, Granite Peak Management
  • Palisades Tahoe seat: Mike DeGroff
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Colin Perry
  • West Shore Lodging/Property Management seat: DJ Ewan, Granlibakken
  • At-large Food & Beverage seat: Ray Villaman, Tahoe Restaurant Group
  • At-large seat #2: Dave Wilderotter, Tahoe Dave’s Skis & Boards
  • Placer County (non-voting advisory member): Stephanie Holloway
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (non-voting advisory member): Devin Middlebrook

Learn more at northtahoecommunityalliance.com.

~ NTCA press release

Business Briefs

Safeway Begins Accepting Bids for Property

TAHOE CITY

In mid-March, Safeway started accepting bids to purchase its property in Tahoe City, a 3.2-acre, 50,024-square-foot building that currently houses a Safeway grocery store. Safeway will vacate its 28,631-square-foot portion at the end of this year to move into the former Save Mart building at the opposite end of Tahoe City, which the company purchased last fall. According to Dan Wald, Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director, the commercial real estate company has received eight bids for the property so far, and is anticipating more offers. Wald expects Safeway to review the offers over the next few weeks and make a decision around the end of April.

The property, which is valued at $12 million, has three other main tenants: the Lighthouse Spa, Tahoe National Brewing Co., and A Sante Lakeside Fitness. Wald said all tenants will continue to operate under their current lease with the new owner, and that there is currently no deed restriction in place to prevent another grocery store from occupying the space.

“Safeway is open to all offers. They want to see what shows up offer-wise, then they will make a decision,” Wald said.

~ MS

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