Settlement means no new boat slips without study |

Settlement means no new boat slips without study

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

There will be no new boat slips at the Tahoe Keys Marina, according to a tentative settlement made after an environmental group sued to halt expansion at the marina.

The lawsuit filed in August by the League to Save Lake Tahoe argued the expansion plan — which included 150 new boat slips — was approved by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board without sufficient environmental work. The League said a baseline had not been set for the level of PAH, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, in the lake. PAH is a byproduct of boat fuel that maybe lethal to fish larvae and zooplankton.

The proposed settlement will not allow new slips, but it will permit expansion of 44 out of the 236 slips already at the marina, said John Marshall, general counsel at TRPA. Tahoe Keys Marina owners have agreed to pay for a study, with results due before 2003, that will examine the environmental impacts of large boats on Lake Tahoe.

The settlement would allow some other parts of the expansion plan to go forward. They include 120 new parking spaces and nearly 6,000 feet of additional floor space, some of which will house boat racks. If the Tahoe Keys Marina wants to add new slips in the future, the marina master plan will have to be amended and include the appropriate level of environmental documentation, Marshall said.

The master plan, approved by the Governing Board in June 2001, permitted the new boat slips and required marina owners Ray Carreau and Richard Horton to make improvements at the intersection of Highway 50 and Tahoe Keys Boulevard. Those improvements are no longer required because fewer boat slips mean less traffic.

The TRPA Advisory Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on plans at the marina when it meets Wednesday at the Horizon Casino Resort. It will also hold a public hearing on a TRPA staff proposal to streamline its enforcement process for Best Management Practices, or required environmental improvements for property owners.

The enforcement proposal would allow 30 days for owners to submit a plan for installing BMPs; allow TRPA staff to issue escalating fines for noncompliance; and prohibit appeals to the Governing Board.

“Determining whether a property is in compliance with the BMP Retrofit Program is reasonably straightforward,” states a TRPA document. “If Executive Director violation determinations are consistently appealed to the TRPA Governing Board, the enforcement procedure no longer is streamlining the resolution process. The combination of staff and court procedures provides property owners with all necessary legal process.”

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