Placer Approves Update to Project List for North Lake Tahoe Roadway Improvements, Increased Development Fees to Fund Them

Auburn, CA (MPG)  |  Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer
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The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved an update to the Tahoe Region Capital Improvement Program and its list of needed road projects to improve traffic flow in the North Lake Tahoe region - with a renewed focus on meeting those needs through improvements to public transit and pedestrian and cycling paths.

The updated project list accommodates planned future growth identified in several major new community plans recently approved by the board. The board’s action today does not approve any of the projects on this list; each would still require full public and environmental review before going forward. The environmental impact reports for the Tahoe Basin Area Plan, Squaw Valley Area General Plan, Alpine Meadows General Plan, Martis Valley Community Plan and Placer County General Plan Circulation Element were used to establish the basis of roadway needs into the future for the region.

Transportation infrastructure improvements throughout the county are partly funded through fees charged to developers, whose projects create a need for those improvements. The approved update also increases traffic mitigation fees for the North Lake Tahoe area by 9.1 percent, from $4,986 per dwelling unit equivalent to $5,540, effective Aug. 28. This fee amount is consistent with neighboring jurisdictions, such as the town of Truckee.

Concerns were raised by board members as well as the public regarding the potential for a Caltrans roadway widening project along state Route 267 between Truckee and the Tahoe Basin. While the widening is considered a last resort, county staff included an update to the project list noting the county’s intent to pursue all other options first, including intersection improvements or a carpool lane.

“I am not a fan of road widening as it does not address traffic capacity issues,” said Chairwoman and District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I am looking forward to working with the community and county staff to help identify smart solutions for how North Tahoe moves, preferably by public transit, bicycle or on foot.”