Get away from the trophy houses |

Get away from the trophy houses

Putting in a couple of cents on the shorezone scenic rules proposed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency:

It came with a sigh of relief that the TRPA decided to stall for a month a decision whether to install strict rules about the size and type of future “trophy” houses can be developed along Lake Tahoe’s scenic shoreline. The proposed changes, which appeared last week to be on the fast track for approval, also gave the agency oversight to make homeowners do retroactive changes as part of a project permit approval.

That sigh of relief (emphasis on RELIEF) should indicate to TRPA that it is once again overstepping its bounds and should back off.

With any healthy discussion of TRPA and its extreme control over development in the Lake Tahoe basin comes a lot of theories on property rights, and how much influence an unelected regional body of bureaucrats should have over those rights. In the case of construction on land that is also severely restricted by IPES scores and limited building permit issuance, the answer is NONE.

“Trophy” houses are sometimes the ultimate examples of excess, ego and wastefullness, but that doesn’t give the TRPA the right to exercise its already unwieldy power over their construction. These homes must already conform to TRPA standards for environmental continuity. That should be enough.

Just because the lakeside houses are big, doesn’t necessarily mean they are a blight – In the case of Lake Tahoe “trophy” houses, size doesn’t always matter.

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