Tahoe/Placer County Parking Improvement District Study
This report presents the findings of a study regarding the establishment of an "in-lieu fee" program, under which commercial property owners can fulfill some or all of their parking requirements associated with new development by paying a fee in lieu of the provision of on-site parking. This program is specifically assessed for one or more potential Parking Improvement Districts (PIDs) in the Tahoe commercial centers of Placer County. The Placer County Redevelopment Agency and County of Placer, in coordination with other local governmental and non-profit organization, are developing and implementing plans for redevelopment of the commercial centers in the Tahoe Basin portion of Placer County, which could be aided by the establishment of an in-lieu fee system and associated PID program. These efforts are focused in particular on the commercial core areas of Kings Beach and Tahoe City.
The ability to provide adequate parking supply has arisen as an important factor limiting the redevelopment potential of individual private parcels. To be economically viable, redevelopment generally requires either additional land use on a site or an intensification of existing land use quantities, both which typically increase parking needs. Challenges associated with limited parcel size, TRPA coverage requirements, and other building restrictions make on-site provision of increased parking difficult if not impossible.
On-site provision of parking, moreover, often can conflict with the design goals of redevelopment efforts and the overall Community Plans. A key strategy in commercial streetscape design is to provide a cohesive window-shopping environment close to the sidewalk throughout a commercial "Main Street" area. On-site parking, however, can result in the storefronts being placed behind a row of parking and the sidewalk being interrupted by driveways, both of which work against the effectiveness of the commercial environment.
Joint development of public parking, moreover, allows better shared use of parking spaces than does provision of on-site private parking. For instance, public parking can serve both the afternoon peak in outdoor recreational parking needs as well as the evening peak in theater parking needs, resulting in a reduction in the overall parking requirements for the commercial district as a whole. Again, any strategy that can help to attain parking requirements with reduced coverage impacts can be a substantial benefit in attaining TRPA's requirements for commercial development. There are also other potential benefits that are discussed in this report.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the concept of a Parking Improvement District is appropriate for one or more of the commercial districts in the North Tahoe portion of Placer County. This report first presents an evaluation of the existing and potential future parking conditions in North Tahoe. Next, a review of the PID concept is presented, along with a discussion of how it could be applied to the specific conditions in North Tahoe. Finally, recommendations are presented, along with outstanding issues for further discussion.