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City manager wants BMP extension

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / The South Lake Tahoe City Council will consider at its next meeting whether to request more time to complete the city's master plan for stormwater projects.
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Regional water quality officials may not necessarily believe the floodgates of environmental improvement delays would open if the city gets an extension on its stormwater treatment plan.

But the city of South Lake Tahoe may set the standard for private property owners.

The City Council may direct staff Tuesday to request an extension on providing a master plan for treatment of stormwater runoff. Lahontan Water Board Division Chief Lauri Kemper said her agency would at least like to know “how much time they need,” she said of the city.



The city has a deadline of July 15 to put the plan together that will further outline its stormwater projects such as the large-scale one constructed in the Sierra Tract area.

Best Management Practices, otherwise known as BMPs, serve as landscaping mandates implemented by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. BMPs are designed to keep stormwater runoff from reaching the lake.



“Only the (Lahontan) board can change the deadline. We’d like to see a new date,” Kemper said Sunday.

State guidelines have been increased, and the city says it’s feeling the same pressure private property owners may have in making their upcoming October deadline on completing BMPs.

The city believes it should set the standard for the community.

“The City Council and city management believe that there is a better approach to stormwater management than the current piecemeal approach being used to address BMPs,” City Manager Dave Jinkens wrote in his report. “The problem is that the city and private property owners face a deadline for retrofitting their properties. Private property owners are being asked in some instances to spend thousands of dollars to meet BMP requirements, take away buildable space or face fines. It is unreasonable for public and private property owners to move forward with a mandatory retrofit program and then have to participate in a comprehensive program.”

The South Shore’s primary deadline in October may fall short of total compliance, given the basin’s estimated 28,000 parcels due to be retrofitted. But that doesn’t mean the bistate regulatory agency will chase down all property owners, TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan implied Sunday.

“If property owners are working on their homes, that shows a sign of good will. We’re not interested in the fines and the penalties for them at that point,” she said.

Regan went on to say that the idea of a comprehensive stormwater treatment plan is part of the process behind Pathway 2007, the process by which the community builds TRPA’s regional plan outlining the next 20 years.

“Still, all the preliminary science shows it’s highly important to slowing the rate of water to Lake Tahoe is key to protecting it,” she said of the erosion control measures.

Despite differences in the process, most agree with the result.

In other city business, the council may also:

— Get a status report on the underfunded Highway 50 curb and gutter project, estimated to cost $45 million, from city Public Works Director John Greenhut.

— Revise because of a dispute on a fee in lieu of property taxes the regulatory agreement on the building of Sky Forest Acres, an 18-unit affordable housing project for people with disabilities.

— Agree to act as a financing conduit for Barton Memorial Hospital’s improvements.

— Deny an appeal for a massage license request because of a prior felony conviction relative to “intent to terrorize.”

South Lake Tahoe City Council

9 a.m., May 9

Council Chambers

1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.


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