TRPA approves monopine cell tower in Incline Village
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A new cellular monopine tower located on Tunnel Creek Road was approved by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency on Thursday, Aug. 11.
TRPA Public Information Officer Jeff Cowen explained that the approval came after a significant vetting process of the area to be sure it remained in conjunction with the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan.
“We’re always really careful and making sure we’ve gotten a lot of public input and that’s always reflected in our approval in the documents,” said Cowen. “The cell tower was approved … so we could work on ensuring the scenic impacts were correctly analyzed and mitigated.”
The tower is relatively shorter compared to other towers around the basin, measuring at 45 feet tall. The project was found to have no significant environmental impacts after going through the initial environmental checklist.
The tower will be located on a 3-acre property immediately east of the intersection of State Route 28 and Lakeshore Boulevard, and will also include an 11-foot by 15-foot by 14-foot equipment shelter.
In order to test the scenic impact of the site, TRPA erected story poles, which are temporary poles that are put up in place of what would eventually be the tower.
“We can visit the site from the scenic resource point to determine what the scenic mass is,” Cowen said. “So if it’s going to be visible, how much of the mass of the structure would be visible?”
In addition to a shorter tower, there are already medium sized pines in front of the site which is set back from the road approximately 150 feet. The tower would not be seen above the pines, nor will it extend above a ridge-line, along with other factors that deemed no impact to the scenic quality.
Since the approval from the TRPA was the final step in the process before groundwork, Cowen said the only real challenge now is that the end of grading season will be Saturday, Oct. 15.
“Most everybody in the basin right now is trying to get their projects and all their groundwork done before Oct. 15,” Cowen said. “Then they can continue with their project through the winter.”
To read the entire summary of the project, visit TRPA’s website at trpa.gov/hearings-officer-meeting-documents-august-4-2022-hybrid-meeting
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