New Lake Tahoe regional plan closing in on next steps
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; Summarize, analyze, repeat.
Those are the steps the bi-state federal agency in charge of protecting Lake Tahoe has followed to develop its 20-year plan for the region.
Now, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agencyand#8217;s Regional Plan Updateand#8217;s options are available for review by citizens, partner agencies and other organizations before they are finalized and sent to an environmental consultant for analysis.
and#8220;The more time we spend laying ground work for the environmental document, the better chance weand#8217;ll have of getting to a regional plan that everyone can sign off on and support,and#8221; said TRPA Spokesman Jeff Cowen.
TRPA staff is in the process of reviewing and editing final project descriptions. The new Regional Plan, which will be discussed at the July 22 TRPA Governing Board meeting at North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach, is supposed to update TRPAand#8217;s standing plan adopted in 1987, and basin residents are encouraged to review the new plan offer feedback before then.
The planand#8217;s updated proposal is broken down into four alternatives, including one no action alternative which offers no changes to the 1987 plan.
and#8226; Alternative 2: This seeks to create nine urban nodes that result in less vehicle use and opportunities for significant water quality improvements on private land. The nine nodes include Incline Village, North Stateline, Kingand#8217;s Beach, Tahoe City, the South and#8220;Yand#8221; in South Lake Tahoe, Meyers, Kingsbury, South Stateline and Stateline/Ski Run. The urban centers will be created with additional development incentives and building form allowances to encourage development. The alternative might accelerate the attainment of environmental thresholds by balancing regulatory requirements with incentives for improvements on private land.
and#8226; Alternative 3: This continues the current land-use pattern and allows for more development. It seeks to fill in 22 community plan areas. To attain the environmental thresholds, this alternative increases regulations and requirements for private projects while providing more incentives.
and#8226; Alternative 4: This redirects the land-use pattern through public acquisition and transfer of existing development to create five key urban areas. The five key areas include Kingand#8217;s Beach, North Stateline, Kingsbury, South Stateline/Ski run and the South and#8220;Y.and#8221; Building form allowances will be offered in the five areas as an incentives. To attain the environmental thresholds, this alternative replays on public implementation to redirect existing development.
Local organizations react
While the alternatives are still being refined by TRPA staff, some area organizations, including the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, are analyzing the summary released in June.
NLTCC, in a partnership with the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, is looking at the financial feasibility of the alternatives for the next 20 years.
and#8220;Weand#8217;re keeping an eye on the cumulative cost of meeting regulations,and#8221; said Steve Teshara, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.
Some areas of concern involve cost-intensive areas like how street-sweeping would be regulated, and vague language in the proposed changes, Teshara said.
The chambers would also like to see TRPA streamline its inspection processes to help property owners comply with regulations.
and#8220;Knowing how hard it has been to change the 1987 plan we have to make sure the provisions in the update are practical for now and for long term,and#8221; Teshara said.
Autonomy and community planning is an area of concern for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.
and#8220;In the current regional plan, TRPA establishes a framework and community planning teams are assembled to make choices for their communities that are consistent with the overall framework which is designed to protect the basin environment,and#8221; said Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. and#8220;Under this approach it appears that many decisions for communities will be made directly by the TRPA and that is a matter of some concern.and#8221;
There is a benefit to allowing communities to determine their own development, Nason said.
and#8220;Individual communities wrestle with questions like trade-offs between the advantages of intensity of use and advantages of low density environments,and#8221; Nason said. and#8220;This plan seems inclined to foster high intensity of use over low density in general. Weand#8217;re not convinced thatand#8217;s appropriate for the basin as a whole nor are we convinced it is appropriate for every community.and#8221;
Interested parties are always welcome to weigh in on the proposed plan by calling (775) 588-4547, emailing email@example.com, through mail at PO Box 5310, Stateline, NV 89449 or in person at 128 Market Street, Stateline, NV 89449.
The full document is available for review at trpa.org/documents/rp_update/DRAFT_RP_Update_EIS_Alt_Matrix_6-19-2009.pdf.
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