South Lake Tahoe City Council launches sustainability plan |

South Lake Tahoe City Council launches sustainability plan

Adam Jensen, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The South Lake Tahoe City Council on Friday approved the first steps in the development of a sustainability plan for the city.

The council’s unanimous vote was met with applause from the dozens of people present in Council Chambers for the special meeting.

Using the international Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainability, the goal of the plan is to implement policies which provide for the needs of current residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

There were several reminders Friday that such a goal is only accomplished through actions, rather than words alone.

“If we’re going to talk the talk, the city has got to walk the walk,” Assistant City Manager Rick Angelocci told the council.

The initial steps approved by the council were developed with input from a group of South Shore agency officials known as the Interim Sustainability Working Group and include:

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” Reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint by

reducing energy use in city facilities by 15 percent by 2012.

” Committing to establish a new green-building program and standard for city projects including requirements to meet or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating or use the Build It Green Scoring System.

” Moving toward clean transit, including compressed natural-gas buses and alternative fuels in the bus fleet. The city also will create an incentive program to encourage city employees to use alternative modes of transportation to get to work, including public transit, carpool or bicycle.

” Developing a recycling action plan to achieve a 55 percent diversion rate by 2011. The city also will require recycling containers in all city buildings.

” Investigating and discussing with the business community by June and return to the City Council with a program designed to reduce the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam in the city.

On Sept. 10, the city will host a sustainability public workshop “to review the draft sustainability vision and explore opportunities for partnering , collaboration and innovation,” according to a city staff report.

“Today is not the end of the trail, it is the beginning of the trail,” Angelocci said Friday.