Area Plans moving forward despite lawsuit |

Area Plans moving forward despite lawsuit

Adam Jensen

What the South Shore looks like in the future could be determined in coming days and months as local governments move forward with portions of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Plan Update.

Douglas County and the City of South Lake Tahoe are both continuing work on Area Plans that will guide development on the land including and adjacent to the stateline. Area Plans are local planning documents allowed under the RPU that are similar to community plans currently found around the lake. The plans are required to conform with TRPA rules.

Douglas County’s South Shore Area Plan includes the casinos, lower Kingsbury Grade and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Land along U.S. Highway 50 from the stateline to Ski Run Boulevard is covered in South Lake Tahoe’s Tourist Core Area Plan.

Following a public workshop Tuesday, the Douglas County Planning Commission is scheduled to review the plan April 9. The Area Plan is expected to be in front of county commissioners in May and the TRPA in June.

South Lake Tahoe’s plan is on a separate, but similar, timeline. A public workshop on that Area Plan is scheduled for March 20.

How a lawsuit over the TRPA’s Regional Plan Update will impact the completion of the Area Plans is unknown.

A court date in the legal challenge to the RPU by the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore has not been set. The environmental groups have asked for an injunction to halt implementation of the plan’s provisions.

Allowing local jurisdictions to have greater control of planning matters is one of the environmental groups’ concerns with the RPU.

The TRPA is proceeding with implementation of the RPU, apart from land coverage issues associated with what is known as a 208 plan, until they are told otherwise, said TRPA spokesman Jeff Cowen. It will ultimately be up to a judge to decide how, or if, implementation of the RPU and Area Plans can proceed as the litigation is resolved.

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