Large-scale users of fertilizer may be monitored by TRPA |

Large-scale users of fertilizer may be monitored by TRPA

Right now, only golf courses at Lake Tahoe Basin are required to report how much fertilizer they use each year.

But that may change.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency wants to change its fertilizer management plan to require all large-scale users of fertilizer to track their use and submit those numbers each year beginning in 2004.

Fertilizers often contain nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, that experts say fuel the growth of algae, which is contributing to Lake Tahoe’s loss of clarity.

Large-scale users would include parks, cemeteries, plant nurseries, ball fields and yards with an acre of turf. On Wednesday, the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes. The meeting will be at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center at Kings Beach beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The changes to the agency’s fertilizer management plan could be voted on Dec. 18 by the TRPA Governing Board, which meets a week earlier than normal this month because of Christmas.

The California Attorney General’s Office, as well the TRPA’s 2001 Threshold Evaluation report, have recommended the agency improve how it manages fertilizer. Both requested that action be taken on the program before any building rights, or allocations, are approved for 2003.

The planning commission in September recommended an allocation system that would tie the amount of building at the basin more closely to projects that benefit the environment. The system was scheduled to be voted on by the Governing Board the same month, but it was taken off the agenda so TRPA Deputy Director Carl Hasty could field comments from government agencies. The matter is expected to be heard by the Governing Board on Dec. 18, the same day the board is expected to review the agency’s fertilizer management program.

In other action expected Wednesday:

n TRPA staff is expected to propose changes requiring residents who live on the least sensitive land at the basin to have needed erosion controls installed on their land by 2008 instead of 2011.

The affected land, called a Priority Three watershed, is located at South Shore, East Shore and the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe.

Most of South Shore is considered to be in a Priority Two watershed. Residents who live in that watershed are required by 2006 to install any needed erosion controls, which the TRPA refers to as Best Management Practices. Erosion controls on Priority One land, located on the West Shore and around Incline Village, were to be installed by 2000.

The TRPA Governing Board already passed regulations that require homeowners putting their house up for sale to disclose needed erosion controls to a buyer before the sale. The Governing Board this year also voted to allow the TRPA to issue escalating fines for homeowners who fail to do needed erosion control work by the set deadlines.

n The Advisory Planning Commission will also review changes that would increase the IPES, Individual Parcel Evaluation System, scores for 15 lots at the basin. Fifty points will be added to the lot’s IPES scores because of nearby erosion control work. The land is in El Dorado and Douglas counties. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency uses the IPES system to rate the environmental sensitivity of vacant plots of land in the basin.

n The South “Y” Industrial Community Plan will be reviewed by the Advisory Planning Commission. The matter is not expected to be voted on by the TRPA Governing Board until late January. The community plan is expected to provide incentives to encourage industrial-type uses of the area, which runs along Lake Tahoe Boulevard and is wedged between D Street and Julie Lane.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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