Washoe County evaluating parking regulations around Incline Village
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Washoe County is in the process of exploring changes to its parking regulations that, among other concerns, aim to crack down on boat trailers and RVs parked along area roads for weeks at a time.
County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler told a group of community members Monday during a meeting organized by the Incline Village Crystal Bay Community 1st group that she hopes changes will come before the full board of commissioners in October.
The move is in response to growing frustrations in the Incline Village area over a number of parking issues, including the lack of any limitation on how long a vehicle or trailer can be parked on the side of a road.
Residents say it is common for vehicles to be parked on the roadside for months at a time. In some cases they appear completely abandoned. During the summer, boat trailers are parked along some roads for most of the season. Those parked trailers can force bicyclists and pedestrians to walk on the actual roadway in order to get around them.
“This is unacceptable,” longtime Incline Village resident Pete Todoroff said during Monday’s meeting.
The parking of boat trailers is an issue Berkbigler said she has been trying to address for the last two years and is finally making progress on.
Asked by the Tribune what stopped the issue from moving forward during those two years, Berkbigler said it was an issue of funding. Specifically, she said there needs to be a place where the boat trailers can be parked.
“The issue is, where are they going to go?”
Although some residents said they shouldn’t have to worry about finding parking for boat and RV owners, Berkbigler said the reality is they are not going to stop coming to Tahoe.
“People are going to come to this lake and we can’t stop them,” Berkbigler said.
One suggestion put forward Monday was using the parking lot at Diamond Peak Ski Resort, which isn’t used during the summer, for parking.
Berkbigler threw the issue to Steve Pinkerton, outgoing general manager for the Incline Village General Improvement District, who in turn said the issue of parking is a land-use and regulatory issue, which makes it a county issue.
Although IVGID would be happy to participate, Pinkerton said it was really up to the county to get the ball rolling.
“It really has to start with the county, because these are county issues.”
As for the parking lot at Diamond Peak, Pinkerton said IVGID’s land at the resort falls underneath a special use permit that does not apply to summer. A change to that special use permit, according to Pinkerton, would require action by both the county and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Berkbigler told the Tribune she was unaware of the limitation on Diamond Peak, adding that she planned to investigate the issue to see if the county could initiate action to allow for parking in the summer.
She also said that county officials are explored many different ideas regarding the possible changes to Washoe County’s parking regulations.
For the time being, the county is working with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District on installing “no parking” signs in places where parking poses a safety hazard. In order to do that, officials need to conduct a survey to determine if the parking is unsafe.
Mark Regan, NLTFPD fire marshal, said it recently took them about three months to conduct surveys for two or three streets.
While increased signs were one of many suggestions made during Monday’s meeting, several residents pointed out that it comes down to enforcement.
In a separate matter — but one several residents said contributes to parking issues — Berkbigler said she expects the first draft of proposed short-term rental regulations to come out later this month. From there it will be presented at a series of hearings and community meetings.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.