North Tahoe projects among 2014 Best in Basin winners |

North Tahoe projects among 2014 Best in Basin winners

The Griff Creek project in Kings Beach removed 10,000 square feet of coverage and restored wetland, meadow, and other riparian plant communities.
Courtesy TRPA |

2015 nominations

The nomination period for the 2015 Best in the Basin awards program runs from now until March 31, 2016. To be eligible, projects must be complete and have their security returned by Dec. 31, 2015.

Visit to obtain an entry form and for more information about the program.

LAKE TAHOE — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency last week announced and recognized award recipients for its annual Best in the Basin program.

This is the 25th year for the program that TRPA created to recognize and showcase projects from residents and businesses that demonstrate exceptional planning, design, and compatibility with Lake Tahoe’s environment and communities.

Projects that were recognized for 2014 included those that upgraded highways, built new bike trails, improved water quality, restored environmentally-sensitive areas, remodeled blighted commercial buildings, and created defensible space for better wildfire protection.

Below is a full list of 2014 winners:

Defensible Space/Forest Health Category

Incline Pines Homeowners Association Defensible Space Project: Homeowners in this Incline Village neighborhood partnered with Rockwood Tree Service and Defensible Space Specialists and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District to create defensible space through the entire neighborhood. The project is a great example for other Lake Tahoe neighborhoods who want to be better prepared for wildfire.

Sustainability/Community Benefit Category

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Community House Project: Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Placer County, and many community partners overhauled a blighted and abandoned hotel in Kings Beach into a Community House for social services previously scattered around the North Shore, including North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Project MANA food bank, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Placer County Mental Health Services, and the Women-Infant Children’s Project. These groups and agencies are now located in this one attractive building, making for easier referrals among programs and better community service.

Water Quality Improvement Category

Kingswood 500 Tank/120 Booster Pump Demolition and Griff Creek Restoration Project: North Tahoe Public Utility District removed an aging 500,000 gallon water tank, booster pump station, and access road from a Stream Environment Zone on Griff Creek and restored the floodplain and native vegetation. The project removed 10,000 square feet of coverage and restored wetland, meadow, and other riparian plant communities along Griff Creek.

Smith BMP Retrofit Project: Basile Management Practice and property owner James Smith improved a compacted dirt driveway and parking area at this lakefront home in Tahoma. They installed rock-lined bio swales to treat stormwater runoff, created a grass paver overflow parking area, and landscaped the site with native vegetation.

Environmental Improvement Program/Public Project Category

Bijou Erosion Control Project: South Lake Tahoe and multiple partner agencies created this area-wide stormwater system to capture, treat, and infiltrate urban runoff from the 42-acre Bijou Commercial Core. The system will reduce stormwater pollution from the area by an estimated 96 percent.

Harrison Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project: South Lake Tahoe and private property owners completed this comprehensive project to overhaul Harrison and Riverside avenues with improved roadways, sidewalks, bike trails, parking, landscaping, and street lighting. The project revitalized an important commercial area adjacent to the popular Lakeview Commons site.

Highway 50 Water Quality Improvement Project: Caltrans upgraded nearly two miles of highway between Lake Tahoe Airport and the “Y” intersection in South Lake Tahoe. This multiple-partner, multiple-benefit project included water quality improvements as well as new and improved sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping, and road signs.

Lake Tahoe Boulevard Enhancement Project: El Dorado County and partner agencies built 1.7-miles of Class 1 bike path along the west side of Lake Tahoe Boulevard from Viking Road to Sawmill Road. The path connects residential areas to South Tahoe High School and the Transit Center at the “Y” intersection in South Lake Tahoe.

State Route 207/Kingsbury Grade Reconstruction Project: Nevada Department of Transportation overhauled this highway corridor to reduce erosion, improve water quality, and install wider road shoulders for bicyclists. It also built a new trailhead and road crossing for the Tahoe Rim Trail. The project’s innovative construction approach allowed work to be completed in one year instead of three.

Building and General Construction Category

SUP Tahoe South Shore Bikes Project: David Goldman Environmental Architecture and property owners Jessica Howitt and Brandon Miller remodeled a blighted and abandoned Chinese restaurant on State Route 89 into an attractive new home for this recreation business and its bike and stand up paddleboard shops.

This article was submitted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Visit for more information.

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