There is a New Plan for Tahoe

Lake Tahoe regulations may be moving into the 21st century with an incentive-based approach to encourage environmental upgrades to homes and businesses comes on line this year. TheTahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), the bi-state organization charged with restoring Lake Tahoe’s environment while providing for orderly growth, has updated the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan and the new rules are scheduled to be in effect this summer. The new plan will help stimulate reinvestment in properties while incorporating multiple environmental benefits into every project. Updated policies also encourage home improvements and environmental redevelopment of outdated properties, which are needed to help restore Lake Tahoe.
The top priorities of the Regional Plan are to accelerate water quality restoration, help create walkable bikeable communities, streamline the permitting process, and to integrate Area Plans. Restoring Lake Tahoe means improving the way stormwater and other pollutants are managed.
All properties are required to have stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed, but most property owners install them only when they carry out a major renovation or expansion project. Thus, remodeling and reinvestment is good for the lake because more of the existing development in the watershed becomes protected by BMPs. In Tahoe’s town centers, in addition to substantial water quality protection, major remodels and redevelopment can bring even more improvements like updated architecture and scenic benefits, transportation infrastructure, development transfers from sensitive areas, and more compact, pedestrian- friendly commercial and tourist areas.
Since more than 80 percent of existing homes and businesses pre-date newer environmental guidelines, remodeling and reinvestment could be a final hurdle in Lake Tahoe’s restoration. For these reasons, the plan mixes modest incentives and streamlined permit processes with proven growth controls to provide the next environmental leap forward. Many of the rule changes focus on the way TRPA regulates land coverage, which is the amount of structures and pavement allowed on each parcel. Modified regulations treat pervious improvements like decks and patios differently than impervious surfaces like buildings and parking lots. This is because pervious surfaces allow stormwater infiltration, which benefits water quality. An estimated 27,500 developed properties will have access to incentives to complete and certify stormwater BMPs this summer.
Here is a short list of the incentives that will be available to homeowners this summer:
* Exemption for 500-square feet of deck area, or a percentage of a larger deck, from the total land coverage on a property as long as BMPs are certified for the property and other criteria are met.
* Land coverage exemptions for small temporary structures like sheds and dog houses (up to 120 square feet) as long as BMPs are certified for the property and other criteria are met.
* A 25 percent land coverage credit for the use of pervious paving surfaces.
New Plan for Tahoe Development transfer incentives so homes that are located on sensitive lands can be torn down and the development rights transferred to less sensitive land. Additional “bonus” development rights would be provided by TRPA as a matching incentive. In addition, a simplified permit process at the local building department may be in store for many property owners, depending on progress made by each local government to adopt Area Plans that can be integrated into the TRPA Regional Plan. New provisions allow most environmental review to be taken on by local governments if there is an Area Plan in place that meets or exceeds TRPA’s regional standards. Area Plans can simplify the permitting process by combining TRPA and local government requirements into a single permitting system, which is expected to encourage more property upgrades as well. Area Plans must be just as protective as the Regional Plan, but each jurisdiction will have the flexibility to determine how environmental targets are met within their unique area and how issues of community character are addressed. Jurisdictions are drafting their Area Plans over the next two years and TRPA permits are required in the interim, but many local building departments can already issue TRPA permits on the Agency’s behalf.
The Regional Plan encourages revitalization rather than growth. In fact, the updated plan cuts the number of residential growth allocations in half, is projected to eliminate 10,000 vehicle miles traveled each year, and anticipates that an additional 1,200 parcels will be protected or restored. While maintaining the strict growth control system that’s been in effect since 1987, the plan makes reinvestment in Lake Tahoe communities more feasible. The Basin’s year-round population is projected to only increase by about 5,900 over the next 20 years-which would make it still lower than the Basin population in 2000.
Some new policies are expected to take effect at various times this year and next, depending on parallel approvals at other agencies and the timing of Area Plans. Despite an unprecedented public participation process, a lawsuit has been filed against the plan by the Sierra Club. While the litigation makes its way through the legal process, the updated ordinances are currently in effect and TRPA is moving ahead with implementing the plan. To find out what policies are in effect and how to use the new plan, stay tuned to or talk to a TRPA planner by calling (775) 588-4547.
OpensOpen Houses                     Saturday April 13th

3469 Anne $395,000

3469 Anne
3469 Anne Open Sat. 11am-1pm


Plenty of room for a large group or family. Sleeps 12 comfortably. Huge  game room or theater room with wet bar. Exterior was completely painted. New  roof in 2004. Updated with remodeled bathrooms. Fully fenced in back with mature  trees. Newer decks in front and back. Great location with easy access. 

Wally Johnson      

Hosted by Wally Johnson

2044 Mewuk $439,000

2044 Mewuk
2044 Mewuk Open Sat. 11am-2pm

Find your inner nature here, when you step into this spectacular Tahoe Mountain chalet nestled on stream’s edge with miles of forest surrounding you. Bring your family and friends for enjoying this much loved 2,200 sq. ft. craftsman cedar sided 3-4 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 story custom home.

Craig Woodward Updated      

Hosted by Craig Woodward

1085 Lodi $330,000

1085 Lodi
1085 Lodi Open Sat. 11am-3pm

Authentic Tahoe cabin located across from forest service lot with access to meadow and river.  There is a studio attached to the garage.  Live in the front and rent the studio.  Also included in the sale is the lot next door – 2480 Elwood – IPES score of 798 with 29% coverage!!! 

Natalie Yanish David Seifert

Hosted by Natalie & David

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