TRPA approves environmental measures at airport instead of tree-cut fine
and Adam Jensen
INCLINE VILLAGE ” The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency voted Wednesday to require the city of South Lake Tahoe to install erosion-control measures and restore thousands of acres of land rather than imposing a fine for the unauthorized removal of 387 trees at the Lake Tahoe Airport in 2006.
“There is a substantial environmental benefit to gain here,” said TRPA General Counsel Joanne Marchetta.
Marchetta also emphasized that the city was not receiving any special treatment.
“We apply the same standard,” Marchetta said.
In a draft settlement developed by the TRPA and city staff, the city would have to permanently remove a 13-by-1,300-foot section of pavement along the runway’s northeastern edge, built on sensitive land identified as a stream environment zone (SEZ).
Pervious concrete, which reduces runoff by allowing water to seep into the soil beneath, also would replace a 15,600-square-foot section of pavement next to where the runway will be removed, according to the proposed settlement.
Decreasing the width of the runway and installing the pervious concrete, a Best Management Practice (BMP), would produce environmental benefits on a particularly important piece of property in the Lake Tahoe Basin, according to the TRPA.
“Installation of this BMP represents an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the impact of runoff and, therefore, sedimentation into the Upper Truckee River,” according to a TRPA staff memo.