Pathway 2007 to be hot topic at TRPA meeting |

Pathway 2007 to be hot topic at TRPA meeting

Andrew Pridgen

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board will get a review today of recent work done in the Pathway 2007 process as four local agencies work together to create a basin-wide plan for the next 20 years.

The task to cull and condense the goings on of the Pathway process and present it to the board was “not an easy one” TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan said.

“At the meeting, we don’t expect it to be a contentious issue,” she said. “But, it’s one of those things where there’s so much information there and we need to be prepared to answer any question.”

The agency’s executive director, John Singlaub, reiterated Regan’s point and said today’s meeting should feature “no shortage of important questions.

“We have some relatively new board members and they should also get caught up with what’s going on,” Singlaub said.

Some environmentalists call into question the validity of the process thus far, noting they will voice concerns at the meeting.

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Sierra Club chair Michael Donahoe, a Pathway Forum delegate, is concerned that he has thus far been unable to complete his requested task for the Pathway effort:

“We as a forum have been asked to review scientifically validated data, as well as draft indicators and standards based on that data, and then develop recommendations to the involved agencies as to what we think the new 20-year standards/thresholds should be,” Donahoe said. “Since neither the scientific data nor drafts of all the standards/thresholds are ready yet, we have been unable to do our job.

“It is my opinion that we cannot proceed without both the science and the draft standards/thresholds.”

Donahoe said as a result, the process is happening in reverse:

“Some have suggested going ahead and developing the standards/thresholds along with, or even after developing, the management strategies that will be incorporated into a new Regional Plan,” he said. “It would be like asking the CHP to determine the speed limit on Hwy 50 between Meyers and Placerville based on what kind of radar technology they have, or available patrol cars, or adequacy of officer training, rather than on the engineered capacity of the highway and the health and safety of drivers and pedestrians.”

Donahoe stipulates he’d like to see standards and thresholds established for the lake before any new rules are adopted or building is proposed on the lake – in other words, congruous with the TRPA’s compact which states:

“In adopting this resolution, (that is, Resolution No. 82-11) the TRPA Governing Body expressly recognizes that there is a distinction between adoption of Environmental Threshold Carrying Capacities and the subsequent planning process resulting in an amended regional plan so that, at a minimum, the plan and all its elements achieves and maintains the adopted Environmental Threshold Carrying Capacities.”

While it will not be addressed during today’s overview, some feel the problems may stem from the TRPA carrying more than its share the Pathway load.

“We seem to always forget that there are three other ‘lead’ agencies in this,” said Incline Village General Improvement District general manager Bill Horn. “I think too often people get caught up in pointing fingers at TRPA. … One hopes as this effort progresses that other agencies get as involved.”

The other lead pathway agencies are Lahontan Water Board, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the USDA Forest Service.

Absent from today’s discussion on Pathway will be the topic of place-based planning.

Representatives from Incline Village General Improvement District and Washoe County have joined representatives from the south, east and west shores to engage in a regional planning process folding ideas of the individual community into the overall Pathway plan. “It’s a big effort and just talking about existing thresholds and how to implement what it is we’ve been working on, there’s just a lot of numbers,” Singlaub said. “It will be a lot to get through.”

If you go

What: Meeting of the TRPA governing board

When: Today, 9:30 a.m.

Where: North Tahoe Conference Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach