Live coverage Wednesday of TRPA meeting about boating regulations, Sandy Beach | SierraSun.com

Live coverage Wednesday of TRPA meeting about boating regulations, Sandy Beach

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

Sun File PhotoTRPA officials and board members will discuss the Blue Boating Program at Wednesday's governing board meeting,

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; As summer looms, officials are looking at more ways to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species into Lake Tahoe and reduce the impact of boating on the lake’s ecosystem.

A new series of regulations called the Blue Boating Program will be discussed during Wednesday’s Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board meeting Wednesday at The Chateau.

TRPA Spokesman Dennis Oliver said the program will serve a dual purpose and#8212; to protect natural resources in the lake while making the fee payment structure for boaters more efficient.

and#8220;Initially, the Blue Boating Program will focus on rolling out educational information for residents,and#8221; said Oliver. and#8220;We won’t focus on enforcement until the following year.and#8221;

Under the program, boat inspections will include restrictions such as ensuring motorized boats have proper exhaust systems, regulation sewage disposal and mufflers to reduce motor noise, as well as also as additional oversight measures to ensure invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels are not introduced into the fragile Lake Tahoe ecosystem.

Additionally, TRPA will take measures to streamline the boat inspection process by offering residents the chance to pay a one-time annual fee, rather than adhering to the pay-per-use structure currently in place.

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Wednesday’s meeting begins at 9 a.m.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort and Heavenly Valley Limited Partnership are seeking approval for construction projects to take place this summer. TRPA staff has recommended the governing board approve the proposals.

Phase two of the Diamond Peak construction project includes plans to combine the resort’s base lodge buildings, including the ticketing office, administrative office, ski patrol offices and ski school, into one building. It should cost between $3.5 and $4 million, a price that could rise if significant delay occurs, Incline Village General Improvement District General Manager Bill Horn said in previous interviews.

Heavenly is seeking approval to construct a new single-story day lodge near the top of the Gondola ski lift, on the California side of Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort. The building will be wood framed with a structural steel support, and architects are pursuing basic LEED certification.

Also on the agenda is an update to the lawsuit involving Friends of Tahoe Vista and the League to Save Lake Tahoe against TRPA regarding the Sandy Beach campground.

Two years ago, Tahoe Vista Partners LLP, a real estate developing agency, received approval to construct a housing complex on a parcel that currently features the campground.

After approval, TRPA launched an investigation into the amount of land coverage legally allowed on the parcel. TRPA found discrepancies in the amount of coverage allowed and the amount approved, suspended the permit and promised to revisit the specifications for land coverage and revisit the approval process.

and#8220;TRPA lawyers have been working to arrive at a settlement for the last year,and#8221; Oliver said.

Since the board anticipates a high volume of commentary on proposed boating regulations, Oliver said the second half of the meeting will occur Thursday at TRPA offices in Stateline, beginning at 9 a.m.

Thursday’s segment will focus on the Regional Plan Index, a program which explores the TRPA’s ability to encourage private industry to perform environmental redevelopment projects to privately owned sites throughout the basin. Representatives from the gaming industry, ski resort industry and the North Shore and South Shore chambers of commerce will attend and provide the board with direction.