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Proposed rules on piers, buoys coming in March

Proposed regulations on motor-boats, bouys and piers will come out on March 22. / Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune file
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It’s less than a month away: After two summers of debate, the public will see for the first time the proposed rules that could govern piers, buoys and motorboats on Lake Tahoe for the next 20 years.

But the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is under increasing pressure to modify plans to release the proposals, which it said it will do at its next Governing Board meeting on March 22. A public hearing will be held 30 days later on April 26, and the board will be expected to vote on the rules that day.

Jan Brisco of the Tahoe Lakefront Owners Association told the board Wednesday if it wants to make sure to avoid legal action, it should allow 60 days of public review after releasing proposed regulations, which means the board could not vote until May.



And board member Coe Swobe said he’s received positive feedback to his suggestion to delay hearings until this summer, when more people who will be affected by the rules will be around.

The TRPA governs development at Lake Tahoe and makes policy to meet several environmental standards, including water and air quality, noise, scenic views and wildlife.




Last summer the agency released a sixth possible alternative on how to govern Tahoe’s lake shore area. The plan proposed a density-based approach to building new piers and buoys, boatwash stations and a boat sticker program, and a partial ban on motorboats in Emerald Bay.

The other five possibilities looked at the consequences of taking no action, reducing piers, allowing no new piers, or allowing more than double the amount of piers proposed in Alternative 6.

Several of the board’s 15 members are new since last summer’s public hearing on Alternative 6: El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago, South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Mike Weber and new appointee Chuck Ruthe.

Brisco said the law requires 60 days of public review after a new alternative is introduced, and she believes what will come out next month will be different enough to warrant a longer review period.

“There’s simply not enough time,” she said.

TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan said the agency is committed to providing a preferred alternative 30 days before any potential decisions by the board.

“Our staff has already incorporated much of the feedback from the lakefront property owners, as well as other members of the public, into the preferred alternative,” Regan wrote in an e-mail.

“Over the last two years we’ve held evening workshops in the summer when the most people who enjoy the lake are here in Tahoe. We’ve spoken to community groups extensively and had 30 articles in local newspapers as well. Thanks to this media coverage, we received many letters and e-mails about the shorezone environmental document which we’ve taken to heart.”


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