Property owners, TRPA find middle ground |

Property owners, TRPA find middle ground

Proponents of regulation changes that could affect the appearance and size of lakeshore homes are saying a compromise has been reached, but a key opponent is still asking for more time to figure out what’s being offered.

“We’ve made progress,” said Jan Briscoe, executive director of Tahoe Lakefront Owner’s Association, who represents 1,400 property owners. “But we think property owners should be able to understand how the regulations apply to them. It is still very complex to the laymen.”

The changes, which would create a rating system to determine the visual impact of a lakeshore home, are expected to be voted on when the TRPA Governing Board meets Wednesday.

“It’s a classic compromise,” said Pam Drum, spokeswoman at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which is proposing the system. “It doesn’t give anybody everything they wanted, but we hope it allows us to move forward with board action.”

In crafting the system, staff at the agency aimed to make the system less subjective than the “horse trading” type process used for building projects now.

Briscoe said the revised system was only made available to her last week. She and the people she represents need more time to digest it.

“That’s a TRPA preference to take it before the board Wednesday for a vote.”

The system, referred to as a scenic quality review system, resulted from the 2001 Threshold Evaluation report released in December. It stated that scenic quality, in particular along the shorezone, has been in decline since 1991.

TRPA staff has conducted 39 public workshops and presentations regarding the review system since it was first introduced in August 2001.

All that work pushed to the back burner another large policy change proposed by the agency. It would tie the amount of home construction allowed each year at the basin to performance on environmental projects.

The policy change, which would affect the amount of building each year in the basin’s five counties and one city, was scheduled to be voted on by the Governing Board this Wednesday. But now the issue may not be voted on until November or December, Drum said.

“We’re changing our approach just a little bit,” Drum said. “Given the fact that time is marching on, and local governments have some concerns, we’re going to (conduct a performance review) before the board acts.”

Also this week:

n TRPA Governing Board members on Tuesday at 2 p.m. will visit the South Lake Tahoe Redevelopment project along Highway 50 near Stateline. The group will also tour the forest off Pioneer Trail where small trees and other vegetation that posed a fire hazard have been cleared out.

n When the board meets Wednesday, “Best of the Basin” awards will be given to property owners and architects for projects that are well designed and environmentally sound.

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