Planning Commission Meeting
Some call it housekeeping, others call it major policy change. Either way, it’s meant to shed light on confusing land-use regulations and ultimately simplify the project approval process between the city of South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
The city’s Planning Commission agreed Wednesday to recommend City Council approval of an updated 1999 General Plan and revisions to the Comprehensive Zoning Code.
“It’s been a long, arduous process,” said Gary Marchio, principal planner for the city. “Our goal was to find a way to streamline and consolidate our codes to have a true one-stop permit shopping process and adopt TRPA Plan Area Statements.”
A future goal would be for TRPA to delegate small project approvals to the city, simplifying the process for the consumer. TRPA is also undergoing streamlining procedures.
“The system we had was not in the best interest of the public. Agencies were not operating at their peak in terms of efficiency,” said TRPA’s Rick Angelocci, chief of project review. “The ultimate goal for us in the future is to give local control to local issues.”
Besides consolidating TRPA and city zoning codes, Marchio also updated the General Plan.
“I want people to understand that this is mostly housekeeping. The General Plan is remaining mostly the same,” Marchio said.
Nevertheless, Mayor Judy Brown, representing the City Council at the meeting, felt there was a need for more in-depth review of the revisions – by both the public and the city – before it could be adopted.
“I feel it’s a major step for our community and I want it to be thoroughly aired to both the City Council and the community,” Brown said. “This represents a significant amount of work and change for the community. It’s a policy change.”
The zoning code revisions were unanimously approved, the updated General Plan was approved, with one abstention by newly appointed commissioner, Alan Tolhurst.
“I’m almost there, but I can’t say that I’d recommend to the City Council that the General Plan is the cat’s meow,” Tolhurst said.
“I don’t think that people realize that this can be a statement of the city’s dreams and not just the requirements of various agencies. I don’t see why we can’t expand the General Plan to include those dreams,” he added, referring to the lack of economic and recreational chapters in the General Plan.
The City Council will discuss the revisions to the Zoning Code and the updated General Plan later next month.
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