Tahoe Basin chambers need community input | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Basin chambers need community input

Joanna Hartman

The South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe-Douglas and North Lake Tahoe chambers of commerce will come together in two community workshops to discuss the social and economic future of the Tahoe Basin.

Environmental impacts already receive a lot of attention, and these public workshops are designed to consider the effects on communities and people, as well, before progressing with the new regulatory plan, said Steve Teshara, the executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

The four Pathway agencies, the Tahoe Regional Planning Association, U.S. Forest Service, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection are updating their regulatory plans collaboratively. Specifically, information gathered from these community workshops will be considered by the TRPA in the development of its new 20-year regional plan.

“[The workshops are] an opportunity for people to come and talk about the people perspective on the planning process,” said Teshara.

It is indeed necessary to focus on the water, trees and surrounding environment in the basin, said Teshara, but not without regard to unintended consequences on the human aspect. Focusing on environmental protection and restoration without sufficient consideration to social and economic repercussions can be costly and counter-productive.

“We’re asking the community members to help us come up with good indicators to use to determine the health of the community,” said Duane Wallace, the chief executive officer of South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

These indicators include poverty level, housing availability, recreation access, transportation and number of children in classrooms, for example, said Wallace.

The workshops will include both a large overview and group discussion. Broken into smaller groups, community members will have the opportunity to voice questions, concerns and suggestions as to how best balance a healthy environment, economy and community.

Results from the workshop will then be passed along to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other Pathway 2007 agencies.

The first workshop will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course Clubhouse in Stateline. The following workshop will be Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center in Kings Beach.

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