Ernie’s among the basin’s best for environmental improvements |

Ernie’s among the basin’s best for environmental improvements

Jack Carrerow
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Ernie's Coffee Shop was honored Wednesday by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency as the best new commercial building in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

KINGS BEACH – There’ll be something to talk about over eggs at Ernie’s Coffee Shop this morning besides solving the country’s problems.

Ernie’s was handed a “Best in the Basin” award Wednesday in Kings Beach by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency during a meeting of the board.

Paul Bruso, owner of the Commercial Rebuild award for Ernie’s Coffee Shop in South Lake Tahoe, said that he’d always heard negative things about TRPA but was happy just the same with the award.

“Of course I was concerned going into the project. But I found the staff and everyone at TRPA to be very supportive and helpful. It was a wonderful experience,” Bruso said.

The awards highlight environmental improvements on properties around the lake in various categories, including residential, commercial, public service, erosion control, restoration and shorezone/shoreland projects.

“This not only serves to recognize the outstanding achievements that have already been done, the award also helps to serve as a guideline for future projects and set a standard of excellence,” TRPA Communications Director Julie Regan said.

The awards have been given for the past 15 years.

Regan said that the recipients didn’t just meet compliance with TRPA requirements but went above and beyond expectations.

“There’s a fear you have with the TRPA, and it’s justified,” joked Shorezone/Shoreline winner Brock Settlemier, whose pier construction won him honors.

Jack Doran, who won for commercial modification, said his project was the first commercial project he has ever attempted and TRPA guided him through the process.

Other South Shore award winners include:

— Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association for use of innovative technology in its boat channel dredging project.

— The U.S. Forest Service in South Lake Tahoe for its new Lake Tahoe Management Office building and its Inspiration Point project at Emerald Bay.

— Kingsbury General Improvement District for erosion control.

— The California Tahoe Conservancy received Best Restoration Project honors for work done on the upper Truckee River wetlands.

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