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Shorezone options include more piers in fishing habitat

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Report details five options for the shorezone

By Gregory Crofton

Tribune staff writer

Rules proposed to regulate the shorezone of Lake Tahoe would allow 428 new piers on the lake even if they are built in prime fish habitat.

If the current shorezone rules remain in place only 71 new piers would be permitted.

A shorezone report prepared by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staff and consultants presents five alternatives regarding how buoys, piers, slips, ramps and docks could be regulated.

Copies of the report were made available July 1 at public libraries, online or at the TRPA. The public has until Sept. 28 to comment on the report.

The TRPA, established in 1969 to protect the lake, has not allowed piers to be built in prime fish habitat for 25 years. But the shorezone draft environmental impact statement indicates that fishery science no longer supports a complete ban on such development.

“We’re going to continue to monitor it,” said Coleen Shade, a TRPA long-term planner and shorezone specialist. “But current studies do not support the full prohibition across the whole lake in prime fish habitat.”

The alternative proposed by the agency for adoption is option No. 2. It would allow: 428 new piers, 3,656 new buoys, 35 new boat ramps, 399 new slips and 65 new floating docks.

But alternative No. 2 would limit the number of piers that can be built in one year to 25. Lakeshore property owners would also have to obtain an allocation of development before they could build.

Owners may also end up choosing whether they want a buoy or a pier or if they require a visual assessment to see if they can have both. A visual, or scenic, impact scoring system would determine what would be allowed.

Julie Regan, TRPA communications director, emphasized that nothing in the shorezone report is a done deal.

“We want to take a lot of people’s opinions and ideas,” Regan said. “It may be bits and pieces of different alternatives that come together.”

– Copies of the TRPA shorezone report can be downloaded by chapter online at http://www.trpa.org. For more information, contact Regan at (775) 588-4547 ext. 237.


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