Group fights to delay Tahoe piers, buoys |

Group fights to delay Tahoe piers, buoys

By early next year the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is expected to adopt new regulations guiding shoreline development, including the addition of new piers.

RENO (AP) – The League to Save Lake Tahoe says plans for new piers and other changes around the lake’s shoreline should be postponed up to five years to make sure that proposals to offset environmental impacts are effective.

The environmental group says new piers, buoys and slips should be considered only after the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency proves it can address the effects of new shoreline construction.

By early next year, TRPA is expected to adopt new regulations guiding shoreline development at the landmark Alpine lake. Agency regulations or court-ordered moratoriums have blocked new pier construction along most of Tahoe’s shoreline since the mid-1980s.

Property owners say the league’s proposal would extend without proper justification a moratorium on pier construction that has lasted 20 years.

“We are asking TRPA to follow the law and prove that their environmental programs will deliver as promised before we take a gamble on developments that will harm Lake Tahoe if the untested mitigations don’t work,” said William Russell-Shapiro, a member of the league’s board.

One proposal under consideration would allow 220 new private piers and 10 public piers over a 20-year period, as well as 1,862 additional buoys. Other options would allow more or less piers and buoys.

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“I think it is ill-advised and illogical,” said Gregg Lien, an attorney representing dozens of shoreline property owners at the lake. “This to me is decidedly unhelpful.”

Owners of lakeside parcels have already had their property rights improperly restricted for decades despite studies showing piers had little impact on fish or produced other significant environmental impacts, Lien said.

“We’ve already had 20 years of moratoriums and millions of dollars of studies,” Lien said. “I can’t see what good it would do to have another three to five years’ moratorium.”