Changes afloat at the TRPA |

Changes afloat at the TRPA

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Proposed changes that would link the number of annual home building permits to environmental projects and a new system to determine the scenic impact of homes within 300 feet of Lake Tahoe will be addressed Wednesday.

Despite a stream of critical public comment at a meeting last week, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staff will present the major policy changes to its Board of Governors.

Under the proposals, the number of residential building permits issued each year could reach 294 or fall to 78, depending on a score issued by the agency. The proposal would encompass the five counties in the basin and the city of South Lake Tahoe.

The scenic review system is meant to streamline the way the agency determines how visible a home is from the lake. The system would link landscaping, color and architecture of a home to the amount of lakefront square-footage permitted.

The board is not expected to vote on either proposal, but presentations and public hearings are scheduled. At the agency’s Advisory Planning Commission last week, commission members and residents peppered the proposals with questions and statements of opposition.

Opponents argue private development should not be linked to publicly funded environmental projects.

The commission decided to push back a vote on the proposals until next month.

“The board of course does have the option moving forward,” said Pam Drum, TRPA spokeswoman. “At the very least, on Wednesday we’ll have the opportunity to share some good information with the board, and of course hear from members of the public as well.”

Also expected Wednesday:

n a vote to approve construction of an Applebee’s restaurant at 3897 U.S. Highway 50 (next to the Travelodge). Approval would allow a 6,000 square foot, single-story building with a patio and 37 parking spaces.

n a vote to approve construction of sediment basins to serve Stateline redevelopment projects. The $750,000 project will connect the basins to a ditch at the edge of Tahoe Meadows. The private land along the shore of Lake Tahoe is home to several historic cabins.

n a vote to require all real estate transactions at Lake Tahoe Basin to include a list of a property’s needed environmental improvements (Best Management Practices). Deadline for BMP installation varies depending on how sensitive the land is and its location at the basin.

n a vote on a code change that would require contractors to protect plants and other vegetation in a construction zone. The change would require fencing 12 feet from the footprint of a building, except the side of it facing the street. It would also require trees inside the construction zone to be protected with welded or chicken wire fencing.

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