Longtime contractor fined for moving dirt in off-season | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Longtime contractor fined for moving dirt in off-season

A contractor from Tahoe City has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for moving dirt during the wet season.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency forbids the moving of any dirt after Oct. 15 to prevent a sudden rainstorm from washing the dirt into Lake Tahoe.

Clarity of the lake’s water is fading at a rate of more than 1 foot per year. Nutrients from soil may be contributing to the problem, scientists say.

The settlement agreement must be approved by the TRPA Governing Board, which meets Wednesday at Kings Beach.

The violation by Setter Construction Company was discovered after the agency got an anonymous tip on Nov. 22. Washoe County officials inspected the property on Lakeshore Drive at Incline Village and found more than 4 cubic yards of dirt had been excavated for pier footings.

Under the agreement, Pat Setter, owner of the company, must pay half the fine to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and half to Washoe County within 30 days. Otherwise the fine will increase to $10,000 plus attorney fees.

“This is an unfortunate misunderstanding,” said Setter, who has done excavation at the Lake Tahoe Basin for 20 years and has never been fined before. “In everyone’s best interest, we came to a mutual solution.”

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