Lake Tahoe’s Regional Plan Update: TRPA board urges staff to include fifth alternative | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe’s Regional Plan Update: TRPA board urges staff to include fifth alternative

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

LAKE TAHOE and#8212; In past meetings surrounding the Regional Plan Update, many conservation community members have asked Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staff to include an alternative that focuses on promoting strict environmentally friendly policies.

Last Wednesday, while staff expressed a belief that Alternative Four was crafted with input from the conservation community, board members urged staff to include the conservation community’s fifth alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

and#8220;Staff developed Alternative Four in good faith with the conservation community,and#8221; said agency Executive Director Joanne Marchetta. and#8220;I’m here with an open mind, but we developed Alternative Four with a specific set of advocacy interests in mind.and#8221;

Harmon Zuckerman, who leads the Regional Plan Update, also if the conservation community was allowed the opportunity to craft its own alternative, the business community may want a proportionate opportunity.

Some board members disagreed.

and#8220;The conservation community and members of the public have expressed the desire from an early stage of this process to frame their own alternative,and#8221; said California Senate Rules Committee appointee Byron Sher. and#8220;Alternative Four presents the most stringent regulations for environmental gains, but the conservation community thinks Alternative Four is inadequate.and#8221;

Mara Bresnick, the California Assembly Speaker’s appointee to the board, agreed.

and#8220;If the conservation community is willing to invest time and energy into coming up with an alternative, staff should be willing to include it in the DEIS,and#8221; she said.

Zuckerman and Marchetta expressed a willingness to consider such an option, but cautioned inclusion of a fifth alternative would put additional burdens on staff and prolong the overall process.

At this time, staff is not working on another alternative like the one proposed by the conservation groups, Zuckerman said.

and#8220;The board never directed us to do that,and#8221; Zuckerman said.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe hopes the possibility of another alternative could come up in the future, said Amanda Royal, spokeswoman for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.

and#8220;It’s very encouraging that the board was talking about this, but disappointing that it went no further than a discussion, given that we’ve made countless requests for a conservation alternative,and#8221; Royal said. and#8220;We still hold out hope that it will come up again and be approved.and#8221;