South Shore environmental plan before Commissioners Thursday
by Melissa Blosser, Douglas County Community Relations Coordinator
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners will consider approval of a new area plan for Lake Tahoe’s South Shore on Thursday, June 20, 2013. The Douglas County Area Plan is the first to be proposed since the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) adopted the Regional Plan Update in December 2012.
The core objective of the new plan is to encourage environmental redevelopment of older properties, improve water quality and transform the area into a world class recreation destination. The new plan supports investment in a wide range of recreational opportunities within walking and biking distance of most accommodations in the South Shore.
“We are one environment, one economy and one community at Lake Tahoe,” said Steve Mokrohisky, Douglas County Manager. “Our new area plan will allow us to increase open space, restore stream environments, improve transportation and pedestrian access, and upgrade buildings with energy efficient design. The plan is consistent with the new Regional Plan Update and is the result of extensive public engagement with residents, businesses and environmental groups.”
The Douglas County Board will also consider approval of a new agreement with TRPA to shift building permit responsibilities to Douglas County. The 2012 updates to the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan include a transition to more permitting by local government agencies through the adoption of area plans. The plans are developed by the County and members of the public with assistance from the TRPA in an effort to streamline permit processes and reduce barriers to environmentally-beneficial redevelopment and reinvestment.
Douglas County has a strong record of environmental improvement at Lake Tahoe. While 18 percent of the Lake Tahoe Shoreline is in Douglas County, only three percent of the fine sediment load that impacts the clarity of Lake Tahoe originates in Douglas County. Douglas County also has the highest compliance of storm water management property improvements, also known as Best Management Practices, in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Douglas County held two public workshops on the new Area Plan in March. A joint public meeting of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and City of South Lake Tahoe Council on April 29 included presentations by the County and City on their Area Plans. The Board of Commissioners heard an additional presentation of the new Area Plan at its public meeting on May 16. Final action is planned to be taken on by Douglas County and TRPA at the following meetings:
• June 20, 2013 – Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting, 1:30pm, Tahoe Transportation Building
• June 26, 2013 – TRPA Governing Board Regional Plan Implementation Committee
• July 10, 2013 – TRPA Advisory Planning Commission
• July 24, 2013 – TRPA Governing Board
Additional information about Douglas County’s new Area Plan for Lake Tahoe can be found at: www.douglascountynv.gov