Guest column: One of TRPA’s most important actions coming soon |

Guest column: One of TRPA’s most important actions coming soon

The adoption of a new Shorezone Ordinance by the TRPA will be one of the most important actions of the decade for Lake Tahoe. The effect will be extremely far-reaching.

It will directly affect every owner of a home, boat, buoy or pier at Lake Tahoe, and there are thousands of them. It will directly affect every person who is deeply concerned about the preservation, protection and water clarity of Lake Tahoe, and there are thousands of them. But, unfortunately, many of those directly affected live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, etc., and are unaware of this ever-changing and mostly unknown proposed ordinance.

My concern is that we should have all available information and comments from those affected before we vote, and the best time to hear from them is when they are here at Tahoe using the buoys, boats, piers and homes along the shoreline and enjoying Lake Tahoe.

With that in mind, I propose that the public hearings, debate and Governing Board action be scheduled during the summer of 2006 (June, July or August) to accommodate the people who are affected the most by the proposed Shorezone Ordinances.

The convenience of those affected should trumpet the convenience of the TRPA staff and Board when it comes to setting the public hearings, debate and vote on this extremely critical issue.

There are many rumors floating around concerning the latest alternative which are causing anxiety among those who will be most affected. They wonder what the latest version will contain, how it differs from previous versions, and who were involved, consulted and formulated the latest alternative.

Before the TRPA Board is asked to vote on the proposal, it should be given the benefit of full and open public hearings and afforded adequate debate. Some of the concerns that I have heard among my constituents and from Californians are as follows:

1. What restrictions will there be for boating and camping at Emerald Bay;

2. Will it contain mandatory boat registration, together with boat stickers and boat inspections;

3. What will be the new policy on buoys, how will buoys be registered and what will be the fee (rumors on that subject range from $250 to $5,000 per buoy). And, will buoys have to be removed during certain months of the year. I have been informed that there will be no provisions for the “grandfathering of buoys;”

4. Is the limit on new piers going to be 10 per year with a fee of $100,000 per pier and to those with a 1,000 foot shoreline? If so, what were the criteria and who devised this provision?

5. What are the scientific data to support the provisions?

The latest version of the Shorezone Ordinance for Lake Tahoe will soon be presented to the TRPA Board of Governors. This is the last of approximately seven attempts over the past 12 years to devise an acceptable ordinance.

Many of those concerned would like to hear, first-hand, answers to some of their concerns and would like to voice their opinions on the same. If there is enough sentiment expressed to the TRPA Board, it will call for open public hearings and full debate of the various provisions before a final vote is taken. If there is not enough interest shown, there may not be any public hearings or debate at all.

I would appreciate hearing comments from homeowners and those interested in boats, buoys, piers, and the preservation, protection and water quality of Lake Tahoe.

My mailing address is: Coe Swobe, P.O. Box 1588, Reno, NV 89501. Also, the mailing address of the TRPA is: P.O. Box 5310, Stateline, NV 89449-5310.

The TRPA operations, including the formulation of ordinances and policies, should be open and transparent. That process would, in my opinion, attract more positive participation and supporters for the preservation and protection of Lake Tahoe.

– Coe Swobe is the Nevada at-large member of the TRPA Board of Governors.

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