Ann Nichols: We are losing Lake Tahoe


The number one cause of Tahoe’s pollution, noise and traffic problems is too many people. Fifteen million people visit Tahoe annually. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and regional counties (Placer, El Dorado, Washoe, Douglas, Carson City) are directly adding to the problem in the name of preservation.

Getting more creative at describing or packaging the problems doesn’t mean they are solving them. “Smart growth,” “sustainable tourism” and other clever names and phrases are intentionally designed to sound progressive, but too often they simply promote more of everything — mostly more development. As concerned citizens we want solutions— not more “greenwashing.” We are getting further trapped in this culture of more. More residents, more development, more tourists at more times of the year, more taxes, more attractions, more, more, more. It is clearly not working. We clearly have more problems.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the basin counties must do the following:

1. Determine a process to define and enforce the carrying capacity Lake Tahoe Basin, both quantitative and qualitative. Design development methods to stay within that maximum. This may mean not allowing more large projects and attractions.

2. Stop automatically renewing large project development permits every three years.

3. Require current environmental analysis of projects approved more than five years prior that result in more than 100 vehicle trips per day.

4. Since the environmental analysis for the Boulder Bay Project is over 10 years old, require a new environmental analysis.

5. Don’t allow phasing of projects to circumvent and delay required mitigations such as traffic analysis, water quality and employee housing.

Concerned citizens and Lake Tahoe lovers take action. Please help Lake Tahoe by signing the petition on the website Take Action page. On that page sign two petitions. On that page click on “” button for one petition and fill out the NTPAC petition on the same page. (You are not expected to contribute monies to NTPAC or

Ann Nichols is with the North Tahoe Preservation Alliance

Current Development

40 units at corner Southwood/SR 28 in Incline

330 + units, towers and a casino at Boulder Bay in Crystal Bay

300+ units at the Cal-Neva in Crystal Bay

To be announced — major project at Ponderosa Ranch in Incline

110 units at Tahoe Inn in Brockway

200 units at the Kings Beach Town Center

150 units at the Kings Beach Ferrari properties

670 homes at Martis Valley West at crest of Hwy 267

110 units at Tahoe City Lodge

300+ units at Homewood Resort

— Ann Nichols

Ann Nichols

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User