TRPA Committee votes to move forward with Tahoe Area Plan amendment in Incline Village |

TRPA Committee votes to move forward with Tahoe Area Plan amendment in Incline Village

A view of the site in Incline Village proposed for Nine 47 Tahoe.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.— A Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has decided to move forward with recommending the approval of an amendment to the Washoe Tahoe Area Plan to allow single family condominiums in area originally designated for multi-family and workforce housing. 

The Tahoe Regional Plan Implementation Committee met on March 22 to discuss amendments to the plan.

The decision will now move to the TPRA Governing Board for final approval. 

The need for the amendment to the area plan arose due to a new high-end development called Nine 47 Tahoe looking to create new housing a multi-purpose use in a high density town center. 

The Washoe County Planning Commission approved the amendment to the plan before it came to the Washoe County Board of Commissioners to be adopted as an ordinance before coming to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. 

At the March TRPIC meeting, there was a long line of people waiting to comment on why they did or didn’t think the amendment should be made, with many worried about the precedent it would set in Special Area 1 for other areas designated for multifamily or workforce housing. 

Others felt that the development would bring more business and life into the town center located on Hwy 28, as the project would be located in an area that has not seen development in years. 

The presentation given by project representative Lou Feldman detailed the different ways the project would benefit the community, including increase density to town centers, increase in walkability in the area, and a number of environmental benefits including reduced vehicle miles traveled in the area and increased storm water protection. 

Placer County Supervisor of District 5 Cindy Gustafson brought up that the concern that there was limited mixed-use space in the development, and brought up that having residential units so close to mixed-use designated space could cause conflict.

“On the flip side, it takes residential investment in order for us to have the financing to make other projects work,” said Gustafson. “There is no doubt that development in Tahoe is so very costly that without that incentive, we don’t see the improvements we need.” 

There was plenty of debate among committee members as to what the correct decision to make was given the complexity of the situation, as the overall amendment seemed to be tied directly to the Nine 47 Tahoe development. 

“I want to honor what the Washoe County Commission, who has debated on this,” said Gustafson. “At the same time I have a role to play on the broader region where this could be precedent setting for other jurisdictions too.” 

While members of the committee acknowledged that there was a need for workforce and multifamily housing in the area, it wasn’t necessarily the fault of the developer, who has done their due diligence in order to build in the area. Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill noted that work is being done through Washoe Tahoe Housing Partnership with the Tahoe Prosperity Center to come up with incentives for the Tahoe Area Plan for workforce housing, but it would take time to create policy for that type of housing. 

“It is something that is on the table that we are discussing for the future,” said Commissioner Hill. “It hasn’t been done yet but I’m pushing that boulder up the hill every day as my role as representing this district and Washoe County.” 

There was discussion to potentially use spot zoning for the amendment in order to allow the Nine 47 Tahoe project to move forward while keeping the rest of Special Area 1 the way it is currently, but the committee overall decided against it. 

“I don’t think that that’s my role, is to give a developer one thing,” said Commissioner Hill. “It’s to look at an entire area which I think the County Commission thoughtfully did… If you don’t like it for the area, we shouldn’t approve today. But if you do like it of the area, then you should approve it today. I don’t necessarily think it’s the right thing to look at one development in particular.” 

Overall, the committee felt that the developers had done the work that needed to be done in order for the request to amend the Tahoe Area Plan to be approved. 

“Developer driven amendments are not ideal,” said Commissioner Hill. “But the developer did find this discrepancy and the County Commission decided, ‘You’re right. We don’t have a problem with condos when they are associated with mixed-use and or workforce housing in this special district area.’ 

“Because this is a downtown,” she continued. “The developer wanted to move ahead so this is what the developer is choosing to do and the county is okay with this… That’s how we got here.” 

Although the committee decided to move forward with their recommendation to approve the amendment, it will still need to go through the TRPA Governing Board before official approval. 

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