Agency looks to hike its survey work fees |

Agency looks to hike its survey work fees

Gregory Crofton

The cost of developing property in the Lake Tahoe Basin may go up.

Officials are on track to decide today whether to approve fee increases which would allow the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to recover the cost of doing an assortment of survey work that can be required before a property owner develops land.

The fees in place today are too low, forcing the agency to absorb up to 50 percent of the cost of the work, said Julie Regan, TRPA communications director.

“We want to make sure research dollars won’t continue to be spent on new development,” Regan said.

The recommendation to increase fees came from a report issued by Strategica, a consulting firm that conducted an operational audit of the agency earlier this year.

The increases, which would raise revenues for the agency from $101,000 to $222,000, are expected to be voted on at the TRPA Governing Board meeting today at Stateline.

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The fee to challenge a land classification made by the TRPA that determines how much of a parcel can be developed would go up from about $400 to more than $1,500. The cost to determine the amount of land that can be developed on a parcel would increase from about $200 to $540. The fee to determine how much of the property is already considered to be developed would go up from $350 to $669.

Fees changes proposed for the IPES (Individual Parcel Evaluation System) – a point system that determines if a vacant lot can be built on – are a little different. The cost of an initial IPES evaluation would increase from about $200 to $720, but the appeal of an IPES score would decrease from nearly $1,400 to about $1,000.

The proposal to increase fees is listed on the consent agenda of the Governing Board, which means it will be approved without discussion unless a board member or member of the public asks that it be pulled from the agenda.

Also today, three pier construction permits are scheduled to be voted on by the Governing Board.

The Governing Board in May agreed to suspend the review of about 10 pier-building applications already turned in to the agency. The board reasoned the projects should not be voted on until new rules are adopted for the shorezone, a process that is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

But lakeshore property owners objected to the project review suspension, calling it an unfair freeze on building. A compromise resulted in August becoming the “pier month,” in which the Governing Board agreed to review pier projects under existing shorezone regulations.

Three applicants have chosen to have their projects reviewed this month. One application involves a pier reconstruction in Meeks Bay; another involves a pier modification off North Lake Boulevard in Placer County; the third involves installation of a boatlift near Tahoe City.

The Governing Board today is also expected to adopt a resolution that makes it a priority of the agency to work to obtain funding for forest fuel reduction projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“It’s to reassure people that we’re very supportive about fuels management and that we’re doing everything we can to bring funding to the basin,” Regan said.

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at