Code change promotes more affordable housing |

Code change promotes more affordable housing

Gregory Crofton, Tribune staff writer

STATELINE – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board last week approved a change in its code that allows guest homes and rental units to exist on properties smaller than an acre.

Such housing was only permitted on parcels larger than an acre. The change is expected to allow the TRPA or the building departments of local governments to permit about 10 new affordable housing units each year.

Affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find at the Lake Tahoe Basin as mobile home parks and apartments for lower income workers get replaced by time shares.

Deeds for the housing will be restricted so owners charge affordable rent. Establishment of a Local Government Housing Program in jurisdictions around the basin was also required by the Governing Board as part of the code change. The programs will help ensure that the housing remains affordable and meets all environmental standards of TRPA.

The agency will review applications for guest homes and rental units until the housing program is established and local jurisdictions have completed a memorandum of understanding with the TRPA.

The memorandums will allow the counties or South Lake Tahoe to review and approve guest homes or rental units, and allow the jurisdictions to bring into compliance guest homes or apartment units that exist but don’t have a permit.

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The Governing Board also took action last week that allows TRPA staff to accept a $100,000 grant from Caltrans to study how cars and trucks travel within the basin. The TRPA expects to hire a consultant to do the study within the next month.

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