Regional Plan Update set for release next week |

Regional Plan Update set for release next week

Adam Jensen

Lake Tahoe’s future is bound in thousands of pages of documents set to hit the public in coming days.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will release its Draft 2012 Regional Plan, Draft 2012 Regional Transportation Plan and environmental documents for both plans during a two-day meeting next week.

The documents contain regulations designed to guide all aspects of development and transportation in the Lake Tahoe Basin for the next two decades.

How much time people will have to review and comment on the environmental documents is one of the decisions in front of the agency’s Governing Board at next week’s meeting. The 15-member board will consider whether there should be a 60-, 75- or 90-day public comment period. Public workshops are scheduled in May under each option.

“All three options also have Governing Board public hearing dates in May for the public to provide comments on the record,” according to a TRPA staff report. “These hearings will be held on both the north and south shores as well as during the day and evening to encourage wide participation. The public may also provide comments via e-mail or letter.”

Planning agency staff are recommending a 60- or 75-day comment period for both plans. The Regional Transportation Plan is facing a stricter deadline because of a legally required Nov. 2 approval by the Federal Highway Administration.

A 60-day comment period would allow the Regional Transportation Plan to be ready ahead of the November deadline, according to the staff report.

A 75-day comment period would push approval of the transportation plan slightly past the November deadline and would have a some impact on federal transportation funding for the basin, according to the staff report.

A 90-day comment period would require decisions on the transportation plan and regional plan to be handled separately because it would push approval of the plans into January. Deciding on the transportation plan in 2013 will cause the Tahoe area to be ineligible for “potentially millions of dollars of federal transportation funding critical to ongoing transportation projects already planned or underway or being planned,” according to the staff report.

Also during next week’s meeting, the TRPA will release the Draft 2011 Threshold Evaluation Report, which tracks how the agency is doing on dozens of environmental goals. The goals, known as thresholds, have been evaluated every five years, but will now be reviewed every four years, according to TRPA spokeswoman Kristi Boosman.

The 2011 report will be the first of the threshold evaluations to include a scientific peer review, Boosman added.

Next week’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Chateau, 955 Fairway Blvd. in Incline Village. The meeting continues at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the TRPA Offices, 128 Market St. in Stateline, Nev.

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