Real estate: Spring snowmelt and BMPs

Sabrina Belleci
Special to the Tribune

The warm temperatures and bright sunshine during the past week have resulted in the usual rapid springtime snowmelt around Lake Tahoe.

Sabrina Belleci

As I watch water flowing down the streets and into the storm drains it brings to mind the need for each homeowner to complete the best management practices on their properties. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency requires that every parcel in the basin install erosion control measures to help improve lake clarity.

According to the TRPA “BMPs are methods to help developed properties function more like natural, undisturbed forest and meadowland. Water that is conveyed to a lake by an undisturbed watershed is usually quite pure, because the watershed’s soils and plants act as a natural water purification system. BMPs help developed properties mimic natural conditions, preventing sediment and nutrients from entering our surface waters and filtering runoff water through the soil. By implementing BMPs, property owners can help slow the loss of lake clarity.”

Depending on the location of your property, the type of slope, proximity to a stream zone, soil type, vegetation and other factors, the amount of work required to complete the BMPs on your property can vary dramatically.

BMPs for residential properties will often require planting vegetation or distributing mulch on bare land and compacted dirt; directing the runoff from snowmelt and storm water, especially from impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks and doing work to stabilize steep slopes and loose soil.

Owners of single-family homes and free-standing PUDS/condos are responsible for doing the BMP work on their properties. If you are considering purchasing an attached condo, then the homeowners association may be responsible for the installation of BMPs. The cost might be paid out of reserves or there could be a special assessment, depending on the financial situation of the particular homeowners association.

Freestanding condo owners will very often be responsible for installing BMPs around the footprint of their property with the homeowners association taking responsibility for doing the BMPs in the common areas.

Some of the more common requirements to complete your BMPs are distributing gravel or rock mulch under decks and roof drip lines, repaving deteriorating driveways and sidewalks, revegetating compacted dirt areas and installing slotted drains in places where water tends to run off pavement rapidly or collect in pools.

Property owners may contact the TRPA Stormwater Management Team to find out if there is an existing BMP evaluation on file. If there is not, they can visit the site and provide an evaluation. Depending on the simplicity of the evaluation, property owners can either design and install their own BMPs using the free Small BMP Retrofit Plan: Alternatively, you can hire a professional to evaluate or install your BMPs. A list of BMP Professionals is at

Another great resource to see if there has been an evaluation completed on your property for your BMPs is the TRPA sponsored website – Once there is an evaluation completed on your property, you can contact a local landscaping company or contractor to receive a bid on the work needed or you can complete them yourself. Make sure to have the TRPA come out and issue you a certificate of completion so your property complies and you are protecting the clarity of our beautiful lake.

All property owners have a responsibility for maintaining their parcels and keeping Lake Tahoe as clear as possible by reducing contamination from sediment and pollutants.

For a complete overview and checklist of BMP relating to property in the Tahoe Basin, visit our website for a free download.

Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village Multiple Listing Service on April 7

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 19 16 3

Under $1 million 0 13 1

Median Price For Sale $3,4M $727K $4,588M

YTD Sales 2021 59 27 8

YTD Sales 2020 20 46 5

New Listings 14

In Escrow 10

Closed Escrow 11

Range in Escrow $695,000 – $7,800,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of Realtors or its MLS as of April 7.

Correction: This column has been updated with which agency to contact to ask about a BMP evaulation.

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