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Posted on: March 15, 2017

Bijou Park Creek Watershed Restoration Project

City Council held a Special Meeting on Tuesday, March 14th and adopted a resolution to establish the Bijou Park Creek Watershed Restoration Project Area Phases 1, 2 and 3. Council also authorized Mayor Sass to execute a purchase agreement for various parcels in and around the Knights Inn. 

Restoration and enhancement of the Bijou Park Creek Watershed has long been considered an important aspect of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (Project #01-01-01-0086). Although the watershed was long-ago developed and includes a high concentration of residential and commercial properties, the City, the Conservancy, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and other local agencies and environmental groups have identified improvements to the watershed as a high priority. 

As noted in the pictures below, Bijou Park Creek was once a naturally flowing creek into Lake Tahoe. The 1939 photograph demonstrates how the creek once flowed nearly unobstructed into Lake Tahoe impeded only by the main thoroughfare. As shown in the current photograph, development of residences located directly in the path of the creek and commercial development paving over the former SEZ and associated habitat has effectively eliminated the natural flow and filtration of runoff. The creek was eventually diverted into a 30” pipe that crosses under the Knights Inn Hotel and under Highway 50. The failing pipe and limited flow capacity increases localized flooding upstream.

The opportunity to acquire the Knights Inn parcels coupled with the Southwest Corner parcels and construct improvements to the end-point of the Bijou Park Creek Watershed will set the City on course to correct harmful development impacts to the watershed. Planned improvements will increase ecosystem/watershed filtration processes, restore parcels located in an SEZ, reduce nutrients and sediment into Lake Tahoe, reduce localized flooding and initiate larger watershed restoration efforts. When constructed, these improvements will increase the effectiveness of future upper watershed projects. 

Improving the built environment, the visual corridor and the functionality of the Bijou Park Creek Watershed, will help the city and community better reflect the National Treasure in which we live

This project is multi-jurisdictional and includes the City partnering with the California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC), Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), Placer County, Pradip Patel, Halferty Development and the community of South Lake Tahoe.

The Bijou Park Creek project is divided into three (3) phases. The first phase is acquisition of the project site and redevelopment. The second phase consists of a Watershed study and the third phase being implementation of what is revealed though the Watershed study. 

“We are very excited to be working on this project which balances economic and environmental benefits while also addressing the watershed needs. The project design reflects Lake Tahoe as a National Treasure in which we all live and we are thankful to our jurisdictional partners who support this project,” said City Manager Nancy Kerry.

Read the complete staff report on the Bijou Park Creek Watershed Restoration Project online at http://slt.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=278
 
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