Agency to review shoreline alternative: Emerald Bay boat ban in the proposal | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Agency to review shoreline alternative: Emerald Bay boat ban in the proposal

Andrew Pridgen

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board will review the agency’s hottest topic at its meeting today.

The board will discuss and hear public comment on Alternative 6, the newest proposed alternative in a 15-year debate over how to regulate Tahoe’s shorezone.

In what has become a contentious issue, Alternative 6 proposes to close Emerald Bay to private motorized watercraft one day per weekend in July and August to address pollution detected in the bay. It encourages the enforcement of 600-foot no-wake zones and a 15-mph speed limit already in place in Emerald Bay.

“Our director (John Singlaub) and the TRPA have a desire to (limit boating) in Emerald Bay as well as to inform the public on ‘Alternative 6,'” said TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan. “The goal of both is to put the controversy behind us, not create more.”

The alternative also allows for 220 new private piers and 10 new public piers, and proposes two buoys per lakefront parcel for a total of 1,862 new buoys.

“Obviously the concern is more piers and buoys equals more boats,” said TRPA Communications Director Julie Regan. “We’re in the middle of the public hearing process right now and we’re getting some good feedback. Yes, there are concerns. It’s one of the more controversial issues on the lake since the ’80s, but we want to come out of this (review process) with something permanent.”

For the past 25 years, the agency has not allowed new structures to be built on the lakefront because of concerns that development would disrupt fish populations as well as create pollution. However, agency studies conducted over the past 15 years have shown protective measures can be taken to reduce the impacts of additional piers and boats on the lake, according to the latest shorezone plan.

Last year the agency released a draft environmental impact statement with suggestions on how to mitigate any effects of construction of new piers. A 120-day public comment period commenced with the discussion of five alternative shorezone plans.

Alternative 6 was created in June.

“The point of all this is to show that we’re concerned foremost for the lake’s clarity,” Regan said.

Public comment on Alternative 6 will take place until Sept. 2. For more information visit http://www.trpa.org


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