My Turn: Just say no to the TRPA
Special to the Sun
TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; As someone who loves the Sierra and believes that those who live here are responsible to protect it for future generations, I take exception to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agencyand#8217;s actions.
The TRPA is an agency that has long ago outlived its usefulness. There was a time when runaway development threatened the lake. Those days are over. Now we are nearly built out and much more aware of responsible building practices.
What can or cannot be built on private property should be dictated by code as adopted by each individual county. Rules and regulations should be well defined and in writing. Anyone should be able to walk into their local planning/building department and ask the simple question: What can I build on my land?
It does not need to be this convoluted, with layers of bureaucracy overlapping each other and moving targets, huge costs and undetermined timelines for even the most simple project. In a time when our state is broke, we have the agents of the TRPA who obviously have nothing better to do since they have effectively shut down most construction in the basin, driving around aimlessly just looking for the next taxpayer to attack.
When did parking on your own property become illegal? Whatand#8217;s next? Why do we tolerate this? Local businesses have been driven to the brink of insolvency by excessive and ineffective BMP requirements. These are some of the unjust enforcement actions your tax dollars are financing.
This used to be a place where hard-working people could settle down, raise a family and make a living. The TRPA has destroyed all of that, along with our local communities and economies. The backlash against so-called environmental organizations is occurring for a reason.
We are capable of self governance and self regulation. We do not need a group of people, the majority of whom do not live in or participate in any way in our communities, dictating policy as they see fit that particular month, day, minute. We have property rights guaranteed by our Constitution; we have just been too apathetic or fearful to step up and demand them.
It is time to take back control of our local governments and our property rights. I urge everyone to just say no to the TRPA. If an agent of the TRPA tries to trespass on your property, ask them politely, but firmly, to remove themselves. Do not accept mail from the TRPA. Do not accept phone calls from the TRPA. Contact your elected representatives and voice your opinion about disassociation between counties and this agency.
If the TRPA has no one to do business with, they will be out of business and the world will be a better place. The bottom line is use common sense, respect the environment, stand up for your rights and your community.
Bryan DeVore is a Tahoe City resident.