Grading season coming to an end; homes destroyed in fire will be exempt |

Grading season coming to an end; homes destroyed in fire will be exempt

Greyson Howard

Living in snow country comes with some restrictions, and for construction that means the end of the annual grading season.

In both the Tahoe Basin and in Truckee, development has a window from May 1 to Oct. 15 to move earth, with few exceptions.

Some years that means a big end-of-season rush to pour concrete foundations and allowing construction to continue.

But this year, fewer projects are under the gun with the deadline looming on Monday.

The reason for a grading season in the Tahoe-Truckee region is to prevent erosion and preserve water quality in Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River watershed.

“The season is for any earth moving, grading or excavation that could affect water quality,” said Julie Regan, chief of communications for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “The season is designed for moving earth while the soil is the most stable.

Even with weather changes from year to year, the May 1 and Oct. 15 dates have proven fairly reliable, chosen after examining historic weather data, she said.

While normally in the basin the only exceptions are for public benefit, this year those with residences harmed by the Angora and Washoe fires will be given a chance to keep building after the fast-approaching deadline, Regan said.

“If the weather holds past Oct. 15 some waivers or exemptions for public health and safety projects are given. Like last year, there was an exemption in Incline Village for a wastewater effluent pipeline,” Regan said. “This year on the South Shore and West Shore we are working with homeowners that have hardship from the fires.”

So far, the bistate planning agency has received just five requests for extensions in the Tahoe basin, but a rush for more is expected before the Oct. 15 deadline arrives on Monday, Regan said.

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