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Board OKs Resort Association Contribution to Golf Course Deal

February 29, 2012

The Placer County Board of Supervisors gave a major boost Tuesday to the Tahoe City Public Utility District’s plans for acquiring the Tahoe City Golf Course.

Board members voted unanimously to support the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s plans for contributing up to $2.6 million to the acquisition.

“My direction on this would be that the County Executive Office work with the Resort Association, including looking at developing financing options,” board Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery said before the vote.

She represents the 5th District, which stretches from North Lake Tahoe to Auburn.

Interim County Executive Officer Holly Heinzen told board members that staff will work on a funding agreement with the Resort Association and return to the board with final details. Financing options in the funding agreement will ensure the golf course contribution does not affect funding for other North Lake Tahoe projects, including the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project.

The TCPUD has an agreement to purchase the golf course for $5 million and is negotiating a final sales price with the family that currently owns the course. It is located adjacent to the north side of the downtown business corridor in the heart of Tahoe City.

The Resort Association’s investment would come from transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue Placer County collects at North Lake Tahoe and distributes to the association for transportation and infrastructure projects, tourism marketing and visitor information services. The tax is a surcharge paid by people who rent rooms in hotels, motels and other lodging establishments.

Under the association’s TOT agreement with the county, infrastructure expenditures must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

At Tuesday’s meeting, officials from the TCPUD and Resort Association described acquisition of the golf course as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tahoe City.

The golf course site includes five parcels that cover approximately 45 acres, making it the largest land holding in Tahoe City.

Several speakers emphasized that the property will continue to be used as a golf course at least in the short term. A community visioning and planning process will be used to help determine the property’s long-term use.

In a report to the board, county staff noted the property serves as an open-space buffer adjacent to the community’s downtown area. The vast majority of the property is a stream environment with little development potential, but high value as an open space and recreation corridor.

One possibility being discussed is a wetlands restoration project that would improve the site’s water quality and filtration. Another possibility is winter recreation such as ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Four to six acres around the existing clubhouse have development potential. Possible future uses of that site include a visitor center, performing arts center, recreation center or boutique hotel.

The TCPUD has lined up several potential partners to help finance the golf course acquisition. Placer County is expected to consider a direct contribution of $100,000 in park dedication fees and $200,000 from its open space fund at a future board meeting.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board also approved a general plan amendment and rezoning for the Sierra Sun Villas, a 12-unit, three-story condominium project proposed for nine acres on the north side of Donner Pass Road across from the Sugar Bowl Resort.

Sierra Sun Villas needs a general plan amendment to change the site’s land use designation from agriculture/timberland to tourist resort-commercial.

The Planning Commission recommended approval of the general plan amendment and rezone on a unanimous vote Dec. 8. In a report to the board, county staff emphasized that, given the site’s proximity to Sugar Bowl, the proposed land use changes to allow for the development of a residential project are appropriate.

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