Homeowners best hurry with management practices | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Homeowners best hurry with management practices

Paving dirt driveways, planting shrubs and installing gravel trenches for water runoff are some of the measures Lake Tahoe basin planners want homeowners to do by 2008.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is driving hard to get erosion controls on the ground because it says stopping runoff polluted with sediments and chemicals is critical to putting the brakes on declining lake clarity.

This year, TRPA will have gained three policy-based tools that help get erosion controls on the ground. The third may come next week when its Governing Board looks to link building rights at the basin more closely to environmental improvements, such as erosion controls.

In May, the TRPA Governing Board approved a system designed to allowed the agency to fine people who have not installed erosion controls by set deadlines. In July, the Governing Board voted to require sellers to disclose needed erosion controls to home buyers.

This month, agency staff is set to ask its Governing Board to approve a system that would link the right to construct a home at the basin to “BMP (Best Management Practices) retrofit,” which means erosion control on older buildings that need them.

The more erosion controls the counties and cities at the basin can get on the ground will mean more building rights handed out by TRPA.

“The concept is we only have so much capacity (at the basin),” said Carl Hasty, TRPA deputy director. “We need to fix the ills of the past … in order for additional growth.”

The TRPA Advisory Planning Commission on Wednesday at Kings Beach recommended 16 to 0 to move the deadline to install erosion controls on the least sensitive land at the basin up from 2011 to 2008. The Governing Board is expected to consider the matter and vote on it next week.

The 2008 deadline applies to land considered part of the Priority Three watershed, which is at South Shore, East Shore and at the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe. But the majority of South Shore is in a Priority Two watershed, where the deadline for erosion control installation is October 2006.

Erosion controls on Priority One land, deemed the most environmentally sensitive, located on the West Shore and around Incline Village, were to be installed by October 2000.

The TRPA Erosion Control Team, led by Matthew Graham, has not released clear numbers that indicate how many parcels of land in Priority One have installed needed erosion controls. But the team has developed a database to track the information.

The database shows there are nearly 60,000 parcels of land at the basin and more than 35,000 of those parcels have been evaluated to determine if they require erosion controls. A recently released plan to get the erosion controls on the ground states that more staff and money is needed to attain 85 percent compliance by 2008.

To schedule a free evaluation of your property, the TRPA Erosion Control Team can be reached at (775) 588-4547, ext. 202. The team also offers free engineering and discounted material and labor.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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