Agency is up to the challenge |

Agency is up to the challenge

Creating a system to determine how homes around the Lake Tahoe Basin impact scenic quality has been a challenge for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency — but it’s a challenge to learn from and make a statement with, said the executive director of the agency.

“We’re holding fine,” said Juan Palma, executive director. “In my mind, it’s something even bigger than scenic. It’s how to take issues that are thorny.

“People seem to think we are some sort of invisible bureaucracy saying ‘Don’t do that,’ like a parent. I am trying really hard to change that. We’re not a faceless bureaucracy. We take our stewardship very seriously.”

The transformation of what Palma calls “Group A,” a group of people he has met with many times during the last months to discuss the scenic review system, is an example of how things should work.

“We’re moving to another level,” Palma said. “Full distrust has evolved into full disclosure. There is a great willingness from all parties to find a solution.”

But in the end, the TRPA must answer to its nine thresholds, standards set for the environment in the late 1960s when the legislatures of California and Nevada formed the agency.

“At the end of the day, for me, I have to be able to look the board in the eye with the ordinance and say it will help achieve our thresholds,” Palma said. “At this point, we can say that.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User