Councilwoman takes issue with loop road talk


Alternative 2 of the loop road proposed by the Tahoe Transportation District.

By Kathryn Reed

STATELINE – One thing rang loud and clear Wednesday – Tahoe Transportation District and South Lake Tahoe officials are not on the same page when it comes to the proposed loop road on the east side of the city.

Carl Hasty, leader of the TTD, was the guest speaker Jan. 30 at the Soroptimist International South Lake Tahoe meeting at Harveys.

City Councilwoman JoAnn Conner was a guest of the Soroptimist. She was sitting next to newly appointed, though not yet sworn-in, Councilwoman Brooke Laine.

Hasty spoke about Alternative 2, the original route his agency brought forward and how the city doesn’t like it. But it is still on the table.

Carl Hasty, Tahoe Transportation District executive director, talks Jan. 30 to Soroptimists about the loop road. Photo/Kathryn Reed

The TTD is an independent agency and does not take its direction from the city. The city has one vote on the TTD board. That member is Councilwoman Angela Swanson.

TTD can go forward with the loop road no matter how much the council protests. If properties would need to be obtained by “force”, either the city or Caltrans would need to implement eminent domain. The city says it won’t do so. Alternative 2 would affect more than 80 properties – some residential, some commercial.

Then Hasty spoke about the triangle alternative.

“The city says they would like this in the environmental documents,” Hasty said.

Conner looked quizzical, and shared with tablemates that that alternative has not been before the council.

During the question and answer period she told Hasty she had no idea what he was talking about when it came to Alternative 3.

Hasty said he plans to be back in front of the council in February or March to discuss the loop road.

The idea is Highway 50 would be rerouted behind the casinos, with most proposals going only behind Harrah’s and MontBleu. The current highway by Heavenly Village and in front of the Stateline casinos would be narrowed and become a city street.

Hasty called the loop road an opportunity and that those in the room should see it that was as well.

Making the area more pedestrian and bike friendly are goals, as is the ability to close down the road and have events on the city street.

But what is never discussed is why today events don’t occur on the current loop road – behind any of the Stateline casinos.

After the council gets an update, the TTD board will hear a presentation, the results of the economic analysis should be out in the spring, then alternatives will be refined.

“We are not at the detail level yet,” Hasty said. That will come with design charettes as well as when the city and Douglas County work on their respective area plans.

The goal is for the loop road to go through the environmental process in 2014, funding would be sought in 2015, with construction to follow when money is in hand.




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Comments (28)
  1. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    JoAnn Conner and Brooke Laine,
    Thank you both for attending the Soromptimist meeting at Harveys regarding the Tahoe Transit District’s loop road proposal.
    JoAnn, thank you for questioning the validity of such a plan and thank you Brooke for still staying active in the community.
    A few questions. If the the city of SLT has no say other than one vote in this “independent agency”, who has the oversight of TTD?
    Now there’s the threat of TTD asking the city or cal-trans to use the power of emminent domain to bulldoze peoples homes to make way for this road.
    It’s a waste of the tax payers money and will hurt local business as well as uprooting and dislocating many hard working folks just struggeling to get by as well as many retirees whose homes they’ve owned for years, many passed down from one generation to another.

    Please do what you can to stop the loop road. I’m counting on you.Old Long Skiis


  2. John says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    But what is never discussed is why today events don’t occur on the current loop road – behind any of the Stateline casinos.

    Nobody ever talks about what color the sky will be today or if the sun will come up. Some things are so obvious that they dont need discussion…

    The current loop road behind the casinos is two lanes. If they try to put on an even one lane gets allocated to emergency ingress and egress. A fire lane. The second lane goes to moving back and forth, walking. Then where does anything else go? In a ditch?

    Good grief.

  3. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Now that I see it on paper, this is the most cockamamie plan I think I’ve ever seen in my life. The area they propose the road through is densely residential, the road is a ridiculous idea already, and now some version plans on keeping a city road running between the casinos, and they say they can force the city to pull eminent domain. Talk about being bullied, and for what? Somebodies got money burning a hole in their pocket with this one.

    I think we will need to work our way up the court system with this one, cause they are just going to try to push South Lake Tahoe around, to get their way.

  4. reza says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    The loop road will not happen without Caltrans stepping in. Waste of time until they come to the table. Second, this city does not want to work with Douglas County on anything. Thus, we continue our death spiral. If you have a job, I hope you can keep it. if you don’t and are looking for one, time to leave. This town has no desire to reinvent itself.

    Lets give it back to the environmentalists and let them have their way. At least they know what they want to do with the place. Long live the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Club…… folks with a plan.

  5. Steve says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    TTD’s oversight of the bus system was so poor that it went bankrupt. TTD is an unnecessary government agency that should be eliminated before it causes further harm, creates more debacles, and burns through more money.

  6. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    I’d be willing to bet that if someone comes along, and in the words of Jerry Maguire, “Show(s) me the money”, most of the property owners of those estimated 80 residential and/or commercial properties will sell out in a heartbeat, with little or no concern for the tenants impacted. This whole matter is to influence the selling prices of affected properties and when those owners get the dollars they want they’ll throw anyone under the bus to get that check. I predict that this Loop Road will happen, albeit not for some time, and will turn into a much larger project that will mitigate the concerns of all those affected businesses and those property owners that are/have been the most vocal opponents to this, and further predict that those most vocal opponents will actually lead the charge against any remaining holdouts to sell their properties “for the good of the community”.

    While businesses that rent/lease would be impacted, the decision to sell is wholly up to the property owners who have the control of those properties. This whole matter is about money, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that is deluding themselves.

  7. lou pierini says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    This Hasty fellow needs a new project to work on or a new job. He is the new TRPA’s heavy hitter for the Feldman, Lane, casinos group. Maybe the city has had enough of this group after failed projects after failed projects has put it,the city, on the verge of BK. He seem to forget his paycheck comes from our tax dollars and has no regard for the tax payers that supports him and his employer.

  8. John says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    4-Mer, the leaseholders would still have a valid interest that would need to be compensated. The lease goes with the land. So the leasee’s will be paid for the fair market value of the lease. As is typical of commercial valuations, the lease value will be the Net Present Value of the business. Add $1 to that the the leasees will be glad to go.

  9. lou pierini says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    4-mer, You say “mitigate the comcerns of all those affected business”. The two prior projects that displaced over 90 yes 90 business have not fared so well. Of these 90 business only one remains. Some things can never be mitigated and this is one of them. Seem as though you want to be on the side of the heavy hitters not the business that will be affected forever, belive me Ive been there!!

  10. Bob says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    It’s about money alright. Our money! I question why the Soroptimist are involved with Hasty.

  11. John says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Lou, whether the business reopens after eminent domaine action is irrelevant. The businesses must be paid the fair market value of their business, and then what they do is their personal business. If they made $20k per year then they will get the present value of $20k per year.

    That may not be enough money to buy into a brand new building. The property owner gets to set the new rents. They should not and will not be required to lease new office space at old office space prices.

    You may be worse off, but the community is not. Tourists, friends who come to town, love the new look of downtown. Only rarely do I hear people wish that we had old delapidated buildings in the core. You are one exception. But, this is about the future economy of the entire south shore. Not just one business owner.

  12. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Mr. Pierini:

    “Seem as though you want to be on the side of the heavy hitters not the business that will be affected forever, belive me Ive been there!!”

    Don’t try to put words in my mouth with your assumptions. My remarks did not represent a personal opinion of the benefit or detriment of this project but were what I believe a logical observation on the powers of money and how that impacts decisions.

  13. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    the big question is- Who is going to pay to revamp the new City street ?

    Events ?
    like the Opening Day of Summer Party
    a new place for Snow Globe

    Smoke & Mirros it is realy about Shriking the Town

    I would be willing to bet that this Loop Road becomes another Hole in the Ground

  14. Dogula says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Private property means nothing to government.

  15. fromform says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    this town barely qualifies as a tourist destination. a revamp requiring tough decisions is overdue, the loop road project being just one of many. too bad we have lost the opportunity to get some competence on the city council, not that the city will be a player much longer if the de-evolution continues.

  16. lou pierini says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    4-mer, Your words not mine. Has the gov. taken your property and or do you favor taking of property for this project? Your own words please.

  17. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Mr. Pierini:

    I don’t own property in the affected area but I can tell you right now that if the government or anyone else for that matter came along and told me that they’d give me market value for a property on which I presently receive incremental revenue I’d take that money and invest it elsewhere. A smart business person recognizes the opportunity for a profit and I’m not so in love with anything inanimate that I won’t take a profit and then take that chuck of change to invest somewhere else that I think is better and can give me a better return on my money.

    Also, no one will “take” this property; the owners will receive compensation. Like I said before, many of those property owners are trying to influence the selling price of their asset and when they get what they want they’ll sell with no remorse.

  18. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    If the argument for the Loop Road is to have a place for events, why not use the road behind the casinos instead of trying to close Hwy 50.

  19. John says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Tahoeadvocate, read the second comment. The author asked the same question, so maybe its not as obvious as it seems. But the total road width of the current loop is 60 feet. At a minimum a clear fire lane of 20 feet has to be maintained. That leaves 40 feet. At a minimum there needs to be 20 feet allocated to pedestrian walkways. That leaves 20 feet at maximum for tents, trailers, stages, whatever. Then there are steep ditches on both sides.

    In other words, it is impossible to use the current Loop. Could it be reconfigured? Not likely, there is 90 feet between casinos at minimum. In places over 200 feet. That is where a concert can be held.

  20. Michael Clark says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    So, if I understand this issue correctly, taxpayers in California will be paying for road improvements that will help the casinos in another state to make more money and this will somehow trickle-down back to California? Is that it?

  21. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    I’d support keeping the road straight by doing a tunnel, gotta be cheaper than buying 90 properties out, and making a crooked highway ;)

    I wouldn’t mind a pedestrian walking zone, just not at the expense of making the road crooked, and taking out residences.

  22. reza says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Town is dying. Give it to the environmentalists.

  23. Laketoohigh says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Having owned a business in this town, I know for a fact that “location, location, location.” has never been more prevalent than here. Being able to hold special events in the casino corridor would help bring money into town. Like it or not we have to have that outside cash flowing into town to survive. South Shore was basically built to service the casinos in the heyday. It’s tough considering the setbacks we have been made to endure to believe the economy can ever get better for the middle class here. But if we at least TRY to improve the ability of the town to bring more visitors in, we might just have a chance.

  24. Robert Fleischer says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    There are some good arguments going on here, but in the long run of how the world works, I think 4-mer-usmc has a good point about what probably will..or would…happen. Lou Pierini, as well as couple others, also have some good input here. My own thinking is that it will happen, someday, years from now. If any immediate idea of the changes are made and published, depending on what that is, the property prices will either go up, or go down. If they go down, some sort of road changes are more likely, as ‘money’ will creep in and properties will get purchased, and held for the ‘new road’. Long term manipulation for a profit is not unheard of, you know. If built, and I think that will happen in some form, eventually, there will be boondoggles as well as traffic problems, and changes will come bit by bit, to SOME folks benefit. Probably NOT the original property owner’s benefit.

  25. Bijou Bill says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    As a 100yr. local :) that has been around the block(loop)several times, let me ask this question… when has the Park Cattle Company, or whatever their corp. entity name is now, ever failed to get what they want in Stateline, Douglas Co.? “Corporations are people my friend!”

  26. Powderhound says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    The problem with that stretch is the intersection of pioneer and highway 50. Signal upgrades and wider lanes at that location can fix circulation there. There are simple solutions for the rest of the casino corridor, limit left hand turns. Eliminate the service road that goes south at stateline. The justification for the loop is weak, even if it didn’t cost 80 million

  27. Josh Hempel says - Posted: February 19, 2013

    The city should be ashamed of themselves in appointing Brooke Laine. They don’t have the right to appoint. This is left up to the citizens during the election. Corruption ridden is South Lake Tahoe. Underachieving minds is present. But the corruption which took place with city council and the appointing of Brook is disgusting. If we needed a customer service skill set to fulfill the needs of this city, she would have been my choice… ridiculous!

  28. Bob says - Posted: February 26, 2013

    Gordon R Lane owns the land across from Raley’s next to Van Sickle Park. Purchased around 2008 I believe. If that doesn’t tell everyone SLT is getting a loop road then I don’t know what will. How Lane has power over SLT as well as Hasty at the TTD is beyond me. It’s zoned commercial by the way. I imagine the value would increase substantially after highway 50 changes route. Follow the money folks.