Shorezone proposal hits snag: Threat of litigation appears imminent
Frustration mounted on Thursday during the second day of the monthly Tahoe Regional Planning Agency meeting as Governing Board members sought to rectify a stark divide between the desires of Nevada and California decisions-makers regarding proposed shorezone ordinances.
A series of modifications to Alternative 6A was presented to the board by John Singlaub, the TRPA’s executive director, reflecting requests by California agencies to alter the ordinances.
“We are not proposing something wildly new that would require us to go back and start over again,” Singlaub said.
A proposal to allow private piers to be shared between two homeowners was one of the more contentious modifications debated.
California’s Lieutenant Gov. John Garamendi has adamantly opposed the inclusion of single-use piers in the shorezone ordinances during meetings with TRPA officials over the past six months.
The concern over single-use piers has not been echoed by Nevada officials, causing Shelly Aldean, a Governing Board member who represents Carson City, to say part of Nevada’s sovereignty could be stake.
A visibly frustrated Aldean called Garamendi’s influence on the process “unacceptable” and cast doubts about the future of the embattled ordinances.
“We have lost our control of this Shorezone process,” said Aldean. “If one group doesn’t sue us, the other one will.”
The threat of litigation, does appear to be growing closer.
“This is totally different from the previous discussion we’ve had on this subject,” said Jan Brisco, executive director of the Tahoe Lakefront Owners’ Association, in reference to the modifications presented by Singlaub. “Our lawyers our salivating, unfortunately. We hope to avoid that.”
While not mentioning litigation, officials form the Sierra Club and the League to Save Lake Tahoe also disagreed with Singlaub’s assessment of the modifications as relatively minor.
The modifications presented by Singlaub were substantial enough to warrant a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the project, according to the two groups.
Although no official vote on the ordinances took place on Thursday, Aldean vowed to rally high-level Nevada decision-makers over the next month to find a compromise between the desires of California and Nevada in regard to Lake Tahoe’s shorezone.