Letter — Think about the future of Lake
February 21, 2003
As an exercise in imagination, let’s all — residents of the basin and all TRPA Governors — take a ride in a local hot air balloon. Look down, look around. See the buildings and roads, the buoys and piers? Shut off the flame and listen.
How do we look? How do we sound? Residents, is what you see and hear what you came to Tahoe for? TRPA, does what you see and hear tell you you’re doing a good job?
Now imagine a ride in five to 10 years. What will you see and hear? Residents, will you breathe freely, happy that Tahoe has been saved from development, that the lake has been saved from too many people, too many cars? TRPA governors, will you be pleased to look back on your record and say: “We did a great job in saving Tahoe, we adhered to the Compact and our other legal requirements?”
Only people who act, who energetically insist on what they want, can make a difference. I read that Kevin Cole, a TRPA governor, has been “waiting for a long time” for TRPA to lower its standards for building on environmentally sensitive land. That’s called lowering the IPES line. This could happen at TRPA’s February 26 meeting, with Mr. Cole voting in favor. He says more building allocations by TRPA mean “this year is working out very well, but [in time] we’ll … have diminishing returns.” Mr. Cole is a real estate broker and he talks about “returns?” He insists on what he wants, and he’s a TRPA governor.
Residents, we better let TRPA know what we want. We better insist on it more energetically than do the many developers, builders, and real estate brokers who talk to TRPA staff each and every day, who call their board members each and every day to tell them what they want. TRPA is in the phone book; we can call them and tell them what we want. We can walk into their offices each and every day. We can go to their meetings. We can write them. We haven’t been doing that. Let’s go for it! if we want that ride in 5-10 years to be a happy one, there can’t be a better time to start acting than now. The IPES standard might be lowered if we don’t.
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