County planner at TRPA a success |

County planner at TRPA a success

Andy Bourelle

A one-time controversial decision to put a Douglas County planner in the offices of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has become a success, according to officials from the two governments.

A senior Douglas planner has been working at TRPA’s Round Hill office since June to help expedite the backlog of the county’s projects needing review.

“He started in early June, and we’ve shown an improvement in turn-around time. We’ve shown an improvement in customer service and we’ve improved the integration of the two systems,” said Rick Angelocci, TRPA’s chief of project review. “Next year, if we start into the season with a running start, I think the system will show greater improvement and a greater benefit to the public.”

TRPA is implementing a Permit Integration Program that is supposed to streamline all of the permitting processes in the basin. It should allow TRPA staff – as well as other government members – to spend more time on environmental improvement projects.

TRPA saw the Douglas County planner housed in its offices as another good step in the streamlining process. However, Douglas County earlier this year only reluctantly agreed to allow that to happen.

This week, Douglas County commissioners will receive an update on the project and decide whether to continue the work for another year. Douglas is proposing training another of its planners in TRPA’s office.

Commissioner Don Miner supports the continuation.

“I think this is moving toward improving the (turn-around time) of projects at TRPA, which now is impaired by too many people involved in slowing down the process,” he said. “You have to run it by too many people.”

At least one commissioner still opposes the proposal.

“I don’t believe it’s our job to do this for TRPA,” said Commissioner Bernie Curtis, who has voted against the plan at every discussion. “I believe it’s their job to do that on their own.”

What: Douglas County meeting

When: Thursday, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 175 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline

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