Tahoe resolution rejected by Senate. | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe resolution rejected by Senate.

Geoff Dornan, Nevada Appeal

A resolution urging the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to continue using a cumbersome ordinance system, instead of variances, to provide construction projects with regulation exemptions was rejected by the Nevada Senate Monday.

Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, R-Minden, assured the Senate the resolution isn’t a push to open up the construction process.

But opponents, including Sens. Bill O’Donnell and Mark James, both Las Vegas Republicans, said continually changing the ordinances restricting development opens the door because a change designed to permit one good project could allow several others that aren’t good for the basin just because they can fit under the ordinance.

“The way this bill is drafted is a very dangerous precedent,” said James. “To say we’re going to enact a policy to require the exemption become the rule in all cases is wrong.”

James told fellow senators, “These are unique situations and should be reviewed individually.”

O’Donnell said as an example that, when one casino put up a flagpole, then discovered it was taller than the permitted height limit for structures in the Tahoe Basin, “they went and changed the code for all buildings.” James said a variance granted or denied each unique case based on its own merit makes more sense.

Altogether, 11 senators agreed the state should not support granting development exceptions by amending the law itself every time, while only 10 supported Senate Joint Resolution 2.

However, the Senate gave unanimous support to SJR1, another Tahoe Basin resolution up for a vote Monday. SJR1 urges the TRPA to work to create a bicycle-pedestrian path that goes all the way around the 70-mile circumference of Lake Tahoe. Jacobsen said the resolution, like the other resolution, came from the oversight committee examining TRPA and the needs at the lake.

“The best way to see Lake Tahoe is to walk, bicycle or boat,” said Jacobsen.

The vote for the resolution was unanimous.

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