Supervisor Sue Novasel District V Newsletter

March 8, 2018                                                                                                  Edition #10

Supervisor Novasel

El Dorado County

District V Supervisor, Sue Novasel Updates and Input Newsletter 

Rescheduled VHR Meeting

The twice cancelled Special Board of Supervisors meeting that was rescheduled Feb. 1st due to shut down by the Fire Marshall and March 3rd due to weather has been scheduled for Saturday, March 24th.  

WHAT: El Dorado County Board of Supervisors                       special meeting pertaining to the County’s                   Vacation Home Rental ordinance

WHEN: Saturday, March 24th, 2018
                1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

WHERE: South Tahoe Middle School,
                  Multipurpose room
                  2940 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
                  South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

traffic mtg

Meyers Traffic Town Hall Meeting

On Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, approximately 70 Tahoe-area residents gathered at the Meyers Town Hall meeting to discuss possible solutions to the gridlock and congestion that occurs on Sundays (and holidays) as visitors leave the basin.

Joining me to provide issue-specific information and answer questions were County Counsel, the County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Director of the County Department of Transportation (DOT), several DOT engineers and representatives from the Sheriff’s office. Also in attendance were CHP, Lake Valley Fire Department, Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board President Barbara Bannar and the City of South Lake Tahoe, including Mayor Wendy David. I would like to thank LTUSD Superintendent, Jim Tarwater, and Principal Joel Dameral for allowing us to use the Magnet School.

We began the meeting with a brief overview of the issue, how we’ve gotten to where we are and explaining the steps we’ve taken in the District with County staff, TRPA and other agencies. County Counsel then provided the attendees with an understanding of what we, as an arm of the State and regulated by certain rules and ordinances, can and cannot do relative to road closures and other issues. Our CAO recapped the meetings he has held with similar jurisdictions and his work on the California and Nevada Bi-State Consultation on Transportation group which has addressed a coordinated approach to transportation options in and out of the Tahoe Basin.

The DOT director covered the pros-and-cons of rerouting traffic on to Saw Mill Road and some of the positive experiences in other parts of the state using this approach. He announced that starting on Sunday, March 4th, he would begin instituting a pilot project which would place barriers and detour signage at Lake Tahoe Boulevard at Sawmill Road, directing drivers to turn so they end up back on Highway 50. This would help to keep some motorists out of the North Upper Truckee neighborhood. He plans to continue the program throughout the year during high-traffic times. If successful, the pilot project may be applied to other impacted areas.

Many attendees had suggestions they shared with the group, including the following:

1. Post signage referencing steep and winding roads
2. Reduce number of VHRs in impacted neighborhoods
3. Close/reroute traffic to Sawmill Rd & HWY 50
4. Create a taskforce to address issues, taking experiences from other tourist towns
5. Change “traction control” to “chains required”
6. Provide a chain-up area on Lake Tahoe Blvd. and/or at the airport
7. Increase law enforcement presence in impacted neighborhoods
8. Install portable speedometers in impacted neighborhoods
9. Install speed humps in impacted neighborhoods
10. Designate a “Locals Only” lane
11. Work with hotels/ski resorts incentivize, institute & promote flexible checkout/night skiing
12. Institute an odd-even license plate travel plan
13. Institute counterflow pattern out of the basin on busy days
14. Ban sledding along the highway/roadways and have CHP enforce the ban
15. Work with mobile app designers to remove illegal routing around Ag Station
17. Prevent right turns onto HWY 50 from North Upper Truckee at certain times and days
18. Add a Citizen Patrol component in impacted neighborhoods

Some of the suggestions have been previously considered by the County; some have been found to be illegal or unworkable; some were new ideas that will be looked into.

In particular, County Counsel informed the audience that closing traffic to “locals only” or only allowing a particular group of drivers is illegal and was upheld by the California Supreme Court. Other jurisdictions that have tried to institute those restrictions have been sued and lost in court.

“Traction Control” signs were placed on local streets this fall due to the desire to keep motorists without chains or snow tires from driving down neighboring streets. To place “Chains Required” signage on streets requires a roadway with ample area for chain-up and changeable signage, which is not feasible on most county roads.

Lodging properties reported that “stay and play” programs, along with varying check-out times has not worked - people tend to leave when they want to and not use these incentives.

We will reconvene a similar meeting this spring to share the progress made on these and other suggestions in hopes of finding more permanent solutions to the growing problem of congestion in the Basin.


Pollock Pines Community Roundtable Discussion

On Monday, March 5, 2018 we held a community roundtable discussion in Pollock Pines.  The primary message of the evening was, "How do we stay small and rural and maintain low taxes and high levels of service".  Our CAO, Don Ashton talked about the county's budget, where the money comes from and how it is dispersed within the county, and what our biggest challenges are.  There were many questions and ideas from the public throughout the evening.

Meyers Community Roundtable Discussion Scheduled for March 21st

Join our County's Chief Administrative Officer, Don Ashton, for a community roundtable discussion about:

  • Where the County Gets its money
  • How much is mandated to be spent & where
  • How much is discretionary & options about how to spend it
  • The process driving the decisions about what gets funded and what doesn't & the consequences of those decisions
  • Open discussion

I will be attending this meeting also so I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
California Conservation Corps, Tahoe Center
1949 Apache Avenue, Meyers


  • Rescheduled VHR Meeting
  • Meyers Traffic Meeting
  • Pollock Pines Community Meeting
  • Meyers Community Meeting
  • 2018 Goals



For current information on road conditions countywide follow the
El Dorado County link:




In the year ahead, your El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will be moving forward on our strategic planning for capital improvements, investing in communities and balancing the budget, while improving roads and county services.

My goals for 2018:

  • Maintain an environment of respectful conversation and positive change.
  • Protect Tahoe’s fair share funding.
  • Continue to strengthen Tahoe’s voice in County affairs.
  • Reduce traffic congestion on local roads and in neighborhoods. 
  •  Improve recreation access and opportunities. 
  • Protect and expand services for our most vulnerable population, including children, families, veterans and seniors.

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