Kings Beach residents want Tahoe Conservancy, State Parks to leave them alone

By Kathryn Reed

KINGS BEACH – If State Parks, California Tahoe Conservancy and North Tahoe Public Utility District officials cannot find a way to work together in a manner that residents can live with, it’s possible state legislation will resolve the issue.

State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said in the next week he wants all parties to come together and figure it out. The it is what to do with Kings Beach State Recreation Area.

State Parks has owned the beachfront area since 1978, but it has always been run by NTPUD. Suddenly, State Parks wants to change how business is done. But neither State Parks nor CTC publicly has said a bad word about what NTPUD has been doing.

More than 150 people attended a meeting March 20 at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. This building used to be a bowling alley, but is now the town’s main gathering place. It is owned by NTPUD, while the parking lot and beach are owned by State Parks.


Parking could become an issue at North Tahoe Event Center. Photo/LTN

All of the 24 people who spoke want NTPUD to remain the operator of the recreation area.

Gaines and Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, hosted the meeting. They are behind Senate Bill 832, which would transfer ownership to NTPUD and keep it as the operator. A decision by the Legislature is likely to come by July.

Last week State Parks said it would close the area during the winter. On Thursday Jess Cooper, northern division chief for the agency, said it will remain open year-round.

But residents are not convinced. One after another commented on how state budget matters could change the policy.

It was pointed out how Van Sickle Bi-state Park on the South Shore is still gated even though there is no snow on the ground. Van Sickle closed for the season Oct. 31. Gates are set to open May 1.

Van Sickle was supposed to be operated by Nevada and California state parks. Instead it is a Nevada, CTC and Tahoe Rim Trail Association operation. State Parks continues to be a missing partner and the recreation area continues to be open seasonally. State Parks last week said it wants to revisit the possibility of being involved with Nevada.

Cooper, at the meeting, said his agency has the money and manpower to operate the Kings Beach facility. But he did not say why the state has not been investing in the property. There is $600,000 worth of improvements needed to bring the site into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, plus there are more than three-quarters of a million dollars in deferred maintenance that needs to be dealt with.

Paul Schultz, NTPUD general manager, explained that Placer County would not allow the district to go after grants for projects without a 25-year lease in place. He said the district would go bankrupt without assistance to fund improvements.

The contract NTPUD had with State Parks expired in 2008. Since then a month-to-month agreement has been in place.

State Parks has long talked about extending the pier from 140 feet to 545 feet. This would accommodate waterborne transportation. The Tahoe Transportation District is exploring the possibility of bringing a ferry to the lake that would at this time service South Lake Tahoe and the North Shore. It’s said to be more of a commuter vessel than a tourist attraction.

“The biggest thing is we felt we would be in a better position to make improvements if we were in charge of operations,” Patrick Wright, CTC executive director, told the crowd.

CTC owns Kings Beach Plaza, which is adjacent to the Kings Beach SRA. It also owns Coon Street, North Tahoe Beach, Moon Dunes Beach, Secline Beach and Sandy Beach.

It was announced last week that CTC and State Parks would be partnering on the management and operations of Kings Beach State Recreation Area. CTC does not manage entities like parks, that is why it would be State Parks doing the day-to-day grind in Kings Beach.

But the outcry from locals was they don’t trust the state and they don’t believe NTPUD needs to be replaced.

“I like local control. There is more accountability,” Gaines said.

Wright said, “Parks and the Conservancy felt we were in a better position to make investments if we managed the parks.”

But what no one from the two state agencies explained is why improvements cannot be made if NTPUD were to continue to run the facility. It was also not disclosed how taxpayers may benefit or be hurt by operational changes.

Wright and Cooper from the state agencies said there will be a transition team put in place by the time State Parks takes over in November. Neither one said anything after the state senator told the three parties to figure out a compromise.

Placer County would like to have lodging on the beach in Kings Beach. With the Tahoe Expedition Academy in Kings Beach going forward on the lakefront property where Ferrari Crown Motel, Falcon Lodge and Goldcrest Resort properties are, the prime lodging spot is eliminated. That leaves the event center location.

This adds to the distrust locals have when it comes to the state taking over operations. They don’t know that State Parks won’t make it impossible for the event center to operate, especially if access is limited because the state owns the parking lot. This could then open up the opportunity for new development.

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Comments (18)
  1. J says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    A commuter vessel that would transport from north lake to south and vice versa would be awesome! Where do I vote for that!?

  2. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Kings Beach residents, Beware! The TRPA, CTC, TTD and other appointed agencies are taking control and possesion of lots of Tahoe property. It’s too late for So. Shore as we are now controlled and owned by these agencies. Now it looks like they have taken over Meyers for more developement. Kings Beach looks to be next on the list to be handed over to developers. Thru paid off politicians/ consultants/developers and unlimited amounts of taxpayer money you will get steamrolled just like we did at this end of the lake. Once the wheels of these crooks are in motion it’s almost impossible to stop.
    Good luck Kings Beach, you’re going to need it! Old Long Skiis

  3. Steve says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Another example of too many overlapping and redundant government bureaucrats running around bumping into each other.

  4. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Yeah! And the “black helicopters” are right behind them! LMAO!

  5. Parker says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Steve, don’t ever question the cost of govt! We’re all supposed to give them a blank check to spend our tax dollars, or borrowed money, as they see fit without any accountability. Because if you do question it, it means you’re opposed to any & all

    Sometimes even Steve, those who think govt. should have a blank check, will even use the most intelligent argument of all. They’ll say that if you question the size, scope and cost of govt., that means you want America to be like Somalia?! It’s a very intelligent argument. So best to just give govt. a blank check to add an endless # of overpaid bureaucrats!

  6. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Yeah Parker. And when some folks in the gubment want to spend $1.3 Trillion – and counting, to fight a War after the estimate is $60 or $70 Billion and the Iraqi people will shower us with flowers. But, the real cost of that War will put us in debt for two generations… Question that one too.

    And don’t ever question Exxon whether they check their Captains for being drunk at the wheel of tankers, or question Toyota about sticky gas pedals, or GM about bad ignition switches, or Ford about gas tanks in Pintos, or BP about the redundancy measures of well heads miles down in the Gulf, or Union Carbide about gas leaks in Bhopal, or GE about nuclear plant designs copied after the Chernobyl models being used worldwide, or coal mine safety standards in West Virginia, or question why a Freedom Industries builds a chemical plant upstream from a major fresh water source in West Virginia, or question building a fertilizer plant that could explode near retirement homes and schools in Texas, etc etc etc.

  7. sunriser2 says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    What does Iraqi have to do with too many government layers/employees in Kings beach?

    By the way you forgot Rush and Fox news.

  8. worldcycle says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    J…. a commuter vessel? Really? Do you know anyone who actually commutes from Kings Beach to South Lake Tahoe or from Tahoe City for that matter? Remember it will have to be like the Blue Go from the Valley to here. Scheduled for one way commuter traffic in the morning and evening. Forget that some of us live up here and commute the other way. To make it feasible, 4 boats are needed. SLT>KB, SLT>TC, TC>SLT, KB>SLT to make it realistic so it would fit the schedules of the few who would use it. It is just a ruse to push longer and bigger piers into the lake that would mainly be used by contracted private concessions who would eventually run scenic boats to Emerald Bay to make their profit. To call it commuter is much easier to get permits and the grants to fund it under various transportation programs. In the end it would be another failed government enterprise which would eventually line the pockets of political cronies with profits at the taxpayer expense.

  9. copper says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Just out of curiosity, if Van Sickle is run by the State of Nevada, CTC and the Rim Trail folks, with California State Parks being MIA, why is it patrolled by Forest Service law enforcement officers, kicking out campers? I have no objection, but we already see public beaches and parks where one day no one’s in charge, the next day everyone’s in charge. And, by the way, most of Van Sickle is actually within El Dorado County Sheriff’s jurisdiction. While City police jurisdiction practically surrounds the place.

    I don’t think Highway Patrol pays much attention to it, but I could be wrong.

    Also, having the gate closed is pretty irrelevant – that only closes one of countless trails into the area. Or are all those agencies hiding in the woods, waiting for “trespassers” onto supposedly public land?

  10. worldcycle says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Oh yea Parker… How does Steve’s comment make you believe he is questioning anything. I believe he is just pointing out an obvious fact. Too many agencies with private agendas that are trying to micro/macro manage the many political faces of Tahoe to their advantage.

  11. Parker says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Way to change the subject Rock! That’s another thing some people do when one questions the excessive costs of govt. for amongst other things, overlapping bureaucracy’s.

    Yes, when something can’t be justified, such as the bloated cost of excessive govt.: name call, distort, and bring up unrelated subjects! Meanwhile, Kings Beach can’t move ahead because of it!

  12. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Parker. Where did I name call? Distort? or bring up unrelated questions? You brought up the cost question of government spending so I say sure… start with the biggest expense known to America on record… Iraq War; Everything else is a drop in the bucket. I say why stop with Gubment? Start asking questions of the corporate professional liars club too.

    Remember what “local control” brought to Lake Tahoe: clear cuts, roads, subdivisions, golf courses, casinos, cesspools on beachfront property, invasive species, storm drains to the Lake, declining Lake clarity and the like.

  13. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Sunriser. Ask Parker, he started with the blank check comment. Sounds like the State Owns the Land. That means Everyone in the State has a say; not just a few people at a meeting right?

  14. Parker says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Rock, Steve makes an observation about the excessive overlapping bureaucracy pertinent to this story, and you bring ‘black helicopters’ in response? I then point out how some get all bent out of shape when the costs and excesses of government are questioned, excesses the are inhibiting Kings Beach from moving forward, and you go on some Iraq War bent?

    The Iraq War is not the story! Unless I guess you figure that cause there was a war in Iraq, bureaucrats can waste money and get in communities’ ways as they see fit?

    That’s the only possible reason to bring it up in this story, but I guess it makes total sense?

  15. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    Hey Parker. Who made you editor of this blog? Excessive overlapping of government is not a blank check. If the State owns the land then EVERYONE in the State has a say.

    The “black copters” are in reference to OLS’s comment about “agencies taking control” and Yes I was laughing.

    So, it sounds like you want a local waste of money story. Ok. In another news source, there was an article on the “future” of the “airport”… again for like the ten thousandth time.

    In that article we find out that not only has “local government” spent about $20 Million of City money to subsidize the “airport” over the years, we also find that the Federal Government has subsidized the “airport” by another $27 Million. So, even if we just shut down this money pit/airport, the FAA wants their $27 Million back. And the kicker is that someone in the article said the only way to get people to fly to the money pit/airport, was to wait for it… wait for it… SUBSIDIZE THE COST OF THE FLIGHTS!

    Now, I don’t know about you Parker and what you really think of blank checks. But, I give you The Iraq War on the BIG end of the check and the City of South Lake Tahoe as the “little” end of the check.

    So, how does that compare to a little Park/Land control dispute at Kings Beach?

  16. Gordon Ford says - Posted: March 22, 2014

    World cycle, I am with you on the ferry. Seems a recreational amenity rather than for transportation.

  17. Parker says - Posted: March 23, 2014

    Rock, the article is about Kings Beach! If the article were about the Airport, or Iraq, that’s where you comment about the Airport or Iraq!

    Excessive bureaucracy is inhibiting Kings Beach ability to move forward. Period. If one sees waste elsewhere, that does not justify excess here!

    And that is the childish justification for bloated govt! The expenditures can’t be justified, except to say, “There’s more waste over here, so leave us alone!”

    The consequence is, many that like to talk about the sustainabilty of the environment, don’t concern themselves with the sustainability of our bloated govt. structure.

    So sure as the sun rises in the morning, there will be another story of govt. inefficiency. And you, and probably others, will go, “Look, there’s waste over here, so it makes this govt. waste ok!”

  18. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 23, 2014

    Parker. Its is State land and YOU injected the blank check opinion, not the article. I, as a citizen of the State, have as much right as anybody to speak out but nobody asked me to join the”meeting.” I have no trust in Ted and I don’t want the Chamber Of Commerce or any other business group taking over State land; for what it is worth.

    Blank ckecks are every where public and private. Ask Toyota (and others mentioned previously) about the cost of shoddy engineering and planning.

    Until you “control” this blog, I will do what I want to do about my comments.