TRPA board approves Regional Plan update


By Kathryn Reed

STATELINE – Historic. That is what some called the near unanimous vote Wednesday by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board to approve the Regional Plan.

For a document that was supposed to be approved in 2007, it was long in coming. It got derailed, turned upside down and faced the threat of Nevada not being at the table.

In the end, the voluminous document earned the support of all but two California appointees.

Now all eyes are on the calendar 60 days from now. For one, that is when the Regional Plan would become the law of the land. Second, that is the deadline individuals and groups have to file a lawsuit to prevent the Regional Plan from taking effect.

The TRPA Regional Plan is the planning bible for the Lake Tahoe Basin. Photo/LTN file

While the board approved all the items voted on, not everyone in the room agreed with the decision. Of the 51 people who spoke at the daylong meeting at Harveys casino on Dec. 12, 34 were for the plan, 14 against and three were non-committal.

The first 22 people who spoke were either from the government, fire service, utility district, science community, education or health care. All were in favor.

Then it was open to the public at large.

“Today is your legacy. It is your legacy to leave,” Joanne Marchetta, executive director of TRPA, told the board before the vote.

Ultimately seven items were voted on. The Advisory Planning Commission voted on each first. For the item to be approved by the Governing Board each required four votes from California reps, and four from Nevada members.

The items were:

1. Issuance of 2011 Threshold Evaluation

2. Certification of Regional Plan Update Final Environmental Impact Statement

3. Amendment of Environmental Threshold Carrying Capacities

4. Adoption of Regional Plan Update and Code of Ordinances

5. Certification of the Mobility 2035: Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy Final Environmental Impact Statement

6. Adoption of Mobility 2035: Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy

7. Submit 208 Plan to California and Nevada Agencies for Approval and Certification.

The APC board voted unanimously to approve all the items.

Governing board member Mara Bresnick, who is the California Assembly Speaker appointee, voted no on everything.

Governing board member Byron Sher, California Senate Rules Committee appointee, voted for Nos. 1 and 7, and then abstained on the rest.

During deliberations Sher said, “If I were going to remain on the board, I would probably vote against the Regional Plan update.”

While Sher has been a vocal opponent to the Regional Plan, he was given a standing ovation by the board and those in the room for his service. This was his last meeting as he plans to resign Dec. 13 from the Governing Board.


Note: Here are a TRPA RPU fact sheets that give an overview of the new Regional Plan.






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Comments (16)
  1. KnowBears says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    I’m confused. How do you have a unanimous vote when some voted no or abstained?

  2. Jim Wire says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    Kudos to the board for doing the right thing! The plan may not be perfect but it’s a step in the right direction. The Sierra Club and League to Save Lake Tahoe will do what they usually do and file a law suit. When will they become collaborators and not obstructionalists? When will they use the donations from the “Keep Tahoe Blue” campaign for useful projects rather than paying attorney fees? When will they become transparent with the use of those funds?

  3. admin says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    Not taking sides here, but just presenting more of the story. People representing the Sierra Club spoke against the Regional Plan; believing it will allow for more development, that higher density is bad, and increasing height regulations is also bad.

    This is what Darcie Goodman Collins, executive director of the League, said, “The League has played an active and positive role in the Regional Plan update process over the past months. We feel that maintaining the Compact and keeping a unified agency are the most important factors to protecting the lake. Concessions have been made and a collaborative process has resulted in this plan. Some of the concessions we made were painful. The RPU allows for more development close to the lake than we would normally support. We have shown good faith in actively participating in this process and making compromises. We expect that Nevada’s leadership will also work in good faith and support this effort by repealing SB271 in this legislative session, as recently stated by Secretary of State and Governing Board member Ross Miller. Finalizing and supporting this plan provides certainty for policy makers and businesses alike so that we can all move forward with the important jobs of revitalizing our communities and restoring and protecting Lake Tahoe.”

    Kathryn Reed, LTN publisher

    PS: The story says near unanimous. 12-1-1 seems near unanimous to me.

  4. Lauren says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    This is fantastic news for the Tahoe Basin and thank you to all who participated in creating a future for Tahoe by supporting the RPU

  5. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    Would be nice to have the main changes gone over ie put into layman’s terms, as most I imagine will not have the patience to read the document.

  6. KnowBears says - Posted: December 12, 2012

    In case anyone cares, Kathryn explained by email that there were two votes referenced in the article. The TRPA vote was nearly unanimous and the APC vote was completely unanimous. Hence my comment.

    I’m perpetually confused, but no matter, that.

    Painful concessions have to made on both sides in order to arrive at compromise — a concept that seems unclear to an awful lot of politicians these days. The second President Bush once commented that his job would be a lot simpler if he were dictator, and he’s right. The give and take of democracy is awkward and uncomfortable, but that’s the kind of government we the people say we want. That means everyone gets to have an opinion and everyone has to give up something.

    I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just wish money and power didn’t get their way so often.

  7. DAVID DEWITT says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    Tax payers of south lake tahoe BEND OVER

  8. admin says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    Care and everyone else,

    Fact sheets about the Regional Plan provided by have been added to the end of the story.

    Kathryn Reed, LTN publisher

  9. Chuck palahnuik says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    With near unanimous support of the RPU from all of the agencies and trpa, we are assured more of the same activities that are destroying Tahoe’s clarity. Nowhere in the plan are there effective strategies to deal with chronic urban  stormwater and until we address urban regions adjacent to the lake, an improvement in clarity will continue to elude trpa.

  10. John says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    Chuck, you may not like the strategy, but that doesnt make it an ineffective strategy. To be clear, the Plan is intended to provide for redevelopment and then the installation of BMP’s as a condition of redevelopment. Fixed costs on the developers increase and so the Plan provides for business to increase revenue in exchange for the investment in BMPs. That is the rub the Sierra Club cant abide by. The BMPs will be installed, but it also means business will be able to increase revenues. You may not like it, but it is the only way the BMPs are going to get installed today. The grants are gone.

  11. Chuck palahnuik says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    I understand that the plan is intended to encourage redevelopment resulting in bmp installation. This is a good tactic and would result in improvements to the built environment and improvements to water quality from the parcels that are redeveloped. But the source of urban pollution extends well beyond the parcels that are likely to be redeveloped. A basin wide strategy has to be created that will effectively reduce urban pollution that is reaching the lake, yes redevelopment should be a tactic used in the overall strategy. But I do not believe that redevelopment alone will significantly mitigate urban impacts to water quality as long as the overall strategy does not adequately address roads and regions unlikely to be redeveloped.

  12. WQ says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    The whole “Chuck palahnuik” pipe club shtick is so tired. Does Chuck Palahniuk know you are using his ideas? Maybe you should riff on “Guts” instead of “Fight Club.” Or maybe just grumble some more.

  13. Joe man says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    As pointed out by others redevelopment is good for improving the built environment and making needed environmental upgrades. The regulation of coverage and blanket approach to residential bmp’s is flawed. Not everything drains to the lake.. Anything near the lake is critical. As John pointed out, the grants are going away, so the strategic and wise use of funds will become paramount. Projects such as the upper truckee river sunset reach river restoration (near airport) need to be axed from the books. Spending 10’s of millions of dollars on a pet project that is already healthy and functioning is a waste of funding. Its time to get wise with funding and stop wasting it on fruitless and ineffective projects.

  14. thing fish says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    Chuck is talking alluding to the Pipe Club’s psuedoscientific viewpoints on lake clarity.
    It is ok to ignore him.

  15. Powder Hound says - Posted: December 13, 2012

    I agree with thing fish. The pictures on there website are a total fabrication

  16. hikerchick says - Posted: December 16, 2012

    If you are confused about what really happened with this plan and the vote, read Taylor Flynn’s piece in the most recent Mountain News. He nailed it. You can read it online if you don’t have a copy.