Relief approved for overcrowding at popular Tahoe public beach
April 19, 2016
North Lake Tahoe’s Speedboat Beach has become more and more popular lately, but with the crowds have come parking and traffic problems in the surrounding neighborhood.
To help relieve those issues, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted today to tighten parking restrictions on nearby county roads and increase the fine for illegal parking from $25 to $100. The board also approved creating a designated loading and unloading area at the main public access point to the beach, providing convenient access without impeding traffic.
To help make an immediate impact, county staff will pursue a pilot program to fund additional patrols and enforcement of the parking ordinances by the California Highway Patrol.
“I want to give credit to the community and to county staff for all their time and input to help us come up with solutions that will begin making a difference right away,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “As someone who visits Speedboat Beach regularly, I can see the challenges with parking and beach use. We look forward to continuing to refine these measures and work with the community to develop others in the future to make sure we keep making progress. ”
Several county supervisors joined staff to tour the area with neighborhood residents April 18 to better appreciate the issues and proposed solutions.
Much of the Speedboat Beach area is privately owned, but visitors to Speedboat have grown in recent years as low lake levels from the drought increased access to more of Tahoe’s public shoreline. Parking and traffic congestion have worsened as a result, and area residents have expressed concern about trespassing and other overcrowding issues like littering.
Beginning in late winter 2015, Placer County hosted three community meetings, seeking input on a variety of options to reduce congestion problems while continuing to accommodate the beach access all community members are entitled to. The improvements proposed to the board today were those that had the highest feasibility and strongest community support. County staff hope to begin full implementation of the new rules by June 1. The changes will be revisited with the community a year after implementation to ensure they’re working as intended.
Toward better managing public access to Speedboat overall, the board also expressed support for creating a new series of signs at the beach to help delineate public access areas, clearly identify beach rules and help visitors better appreciate the beach’s natural resources and the need to protect them.
County staff also recommended replacing the aging wooden stairs that provide access to the beach and installing a permanent public restroom with flush toilets, replacing the portable restrooms installed seasonally during the summer months. The board encouraged staff to continue refining those proposals with community input.
The board directed county staff as well to work with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the community to secure private funding to increase patrol and enforcement of existing county and state ordinances on the beach, complementing CHP enforcement of the parking ordinances.
The county continues to encourage visitors to use public transit to access Speedboat Beach and walk or bike whenever possible, with parking still expected to be limited during the summer months. Roadside parking is prohibited during winter months for snow removal between Nov. 1 and May 1.