South Lake planning commission receives briefing on area plan
April 15, 2015
South Lake residents and planning commissioners weighed in on the Tahoe Valley Area Plan during an April 9 meeting, specifically the lack of information it contained.
The area plan focuses on a 337-acre planning boundary around the "Y" intersection of highways 50 and 89. The planning document is currently undergoing a public comment period, which ends April 16.
The plan will be part of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's regional plan update and South Lake Tahoe's second area plan after it adopted the Tourist Core Area Plan in 2013.
During the planning commission hearing, Commissioner Shannon Eckmeyer recused herself from any discussion for collaboration in the planning process. Commission Chair Judy Brown disclosed she worked for a nonprofit, but stood to gain nothing from its adoption.
Hillary Roverud, deputy director of development services, told the commission and residents on April 9 that the new planning area will set land use regulations, development standards, environmental improvements and encourage new development and redevelopment in an area long considered stagnant with few exceptions.
The process required an environmental process under the California Environmental Quality Act and TRPA's Environmental Review. Roverud said both found that the plan had little environmental impact, with the exception of hazards and hazardous materials.
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Proposed mitigations include identifying past hazardous issues within the planning area, identifying areas of development on those parcels and ensuring past contamination issues have already been addressed. Other mitigations include addressing any fire personnel access issues.
Commissioners and residents focused a lot on stream environment zones, or areas TRPA identifies as having streams, drainages and marshes and meadows that act as a key habitat for wildlife in the Tahoe Basin and reduce sediment to the lake. Approximately 36.4 percent of the plan includes mapped stream zones, and intends to try and preserve those that haven't been disturbed by development.
Commissioner Craig Woodward asked whether mitigations could be done to address flooding issues within heavily developed areas of the "Y."
Correction: This version corrects a mistake: The story stated Commission Chair Judy Brown worked for a nonprofit that helped with the area plan. Her nonprofit did not participate.
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