TRPA wants to refine its mission, take lead role in rejuvenating Tahoe’s economy | SierraSun.com

TRPA wants to refine its mission, take lead role in rejuvenating Tahoe’s economy

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

STATELINE, Nev. and#8212; The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has vowed to take a new direction aimed at embracing development and taking a lead role in rejuvenating the economic sustainability of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Executive Director Joanne Marchetta told governing board members on Wednesday the agency must distance itself from its former anti-development position and instead forge partnerships in the private sector while maintaining its overarching aim to protect the lake and its surrounding environment.

and#8220;We can no longer be the culture of and#8216;no’ and#8212; we have to be the culture of and#8216;yes, and here’s how,’and#8221; she said at Wednesday’s governing board meeting.

Marchetta explained part of the original rationale for the formation of TRPA was to curtail growth and development in the basin, which was rampant during California’s Age of Engineering in the 1970s (the classic example was plans to build a bridge over the mouth of Emerald Bay, which was summarily stopped once TRPA assumed oversight powers).

TRPA must update its mission and provide incentives to business owners to redevelop environmentally insensitive areas with an aim to improve the economic and ecological landscape, Marchetta said.

and#8220;At one time business interests fought us tooth and nail, but now business leaders understand the need for (the agency’s) environmental standards,and#8221; Marchetta said. and#8220;There is an understanding that keeping the environment healthy positively affects the bottom line.and#8221;

Marchetta said part of cooperating with the private sector requires the agency to take a hard look at streamlining the application process, increasing operational efficiency and increasing communication with residents in the basin as well as partnering with other environmental oversight and land management groups like the U.S. Forest Service, which owns and maintains the majority of land in the basin.