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Tahoe environmental agency hires regional plan chief

Annie Flanzraich / North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

A former Tahoe Regional Planning Agency adviser and the mastermind behind Douglas County’s recent 20-year plan update is now on board to finish the agency’s long-awaited revitalization plan for Lake Tahoe.

Harmon Zuckerman, a former Douglas County principal planner and TRPA Advisory Planning Commission member, will lead the Regional Plan Update, the agency announced Monday, with a goal of completing it within 18 months.

“From an organizational point of view it was essential that you need to put one person in charge of it because we have to get this done,” said agency spokesman Dennis Oliver. “This plan is the blueprint Tahoe’s future and we need to get it finished.”



After Neil Crescenti, former assistant planning and evaluation branch chief, recently resigned his position, TRPA decided to hire someone to direct the regional plan, Oliver said. Financial details of the hire were not immediately available.

Zuckerman brings more than 14 years of professional planning experience to the new position, according to an agency press release.



“The updated Regional Plan will play a crucial role in securing the future environmental health of the Lake and the viability of Tahoe’s communities,” said Zuckerman in a statement. “I am pleased to be a part of such an important undertaking.”

According to the agency, the Regional Plan Update is a 20-year blueprint revitalization of existing communities and continued environmental improvement for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

In this role he will be the public liaison of the update, working with stakeholders, agencies and the public. He will also host monthly workshops with the agency’s governing board to discuss the plan.

TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta touted Zuckerman’s track record of innovation and his familiarity with Tahoe’s challenges.

“All of us who have a stake in Lake Tahoe have put a great deal of work into this Regional Plan Update. With the talent and hard work of Harmon and the rest of the TRPA staff, we will now deliver on our promises,” Marchetta said.

From May 2006 to February 2009, Zuckerman was principal planner for Douglas County, and one of his first tasks there was to help complete the 20-year update of the county’s master plan. The county commission adopted the update in early 2007.

In 2008, Zuckerman authored Douglas County’s open space plan. He also wrote several ordinances, including a new zoning district that promotes traditional architecture and town development patterns and a new code section for agricultural land preservation that has already preserved more than 1,000 acres of ranchland. While at Douglas County, Zuckerman served as the county representative on TRPA’s Advisory Planning Commission.

Before relocating to Nevada, Zuckerman was director of community planning for the University of Pennsylvania, an urban policy consultant for the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and the owner of a design/build firm that specialized in the rehabilitation of historic structures in Philadelphia.

Zuckerman holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Oberlin College. He is a resident of Minden.


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