Regional planning agency opens Tahoe City office
Tuesday marked the official opening of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s new North Shore office, which will mainly serve as an information hub for residents.
“Our hope is that it will be much more convenient and more available to the public,” said TRPA Senior Planner Jon-Paul Harries, who will serve as the North Shore’s office manager. “There will also be better communication between us and Placer County and Washoe County.”
The office is located on Dollar Hill in Tahoe City and is meant to be used by residents who live from Incline Village to the West Shore, Harries said. The U.S. Forest Service will also operate out of the building.
The public will be able to get information and educational material and submit project applications in the office. Project files can be sent by courier from the South Shore to Tahoe City for review. However, project plans and permits will still be located and issued at TRPA’s South Shore office in Stateline.
“It is really for customer service,” said Julie Regan, TRPA’s spokesperson. “We made a commitment to the North Shore and this is our action.”
Allen Breuch, supervising planner with Placer County, applauded the move by the bi-state agency.
“Instead of calling on the phone, we can zip over there,” said Breuch, whose office is also in Tahoe City. “For day-to-day operations it will be huge. It will provide quicker service for our customers.”
Those who deal with the agency on a daily basis say it’s a start, but hope the office will expand its services in the future.
“We’re just hoping it will become more project-oriented,” said Jan Brisco, who works as a TRPA consultant and drives to South Shore at least twice a week to view plans.
The move may be a temporary measure for the TRPA, as the planning agency has been in discussions with Placer County on the possibility of moving into a new North Shore government center the county is planning, Regan said. Placer County plans to move its land use, redevelopment and possibly emergency services staff into its building when it opens.
Don Fulda, a principal with Ward-Young Architecture and Planning, said it makes sense for TRPA to have more offices in the basin.
“I think the potential is there to make our job easier,” Fulda said. “By having someone on the North Shore, it will allow more direct dialogue.”