TRPA postpones shorezone plan
March 19, 2006
Bowing to pressure from both board members and staff, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will not present its shorezone plan to the public on Wednesday.
While the item is on the agenda for public hearing, TRPA staff “is not yet there” with the ordinances required to enforce any new shorezone plan, said one TRPA spokesperson.
“We were originally scheduled to present it, but we need more time,” said TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan. “We’re still writing it.”
An added influence for postponement may be some board members’ public opposition to put any new ordinances into place before summertime.
“A couple board members want to discuss (the plan) during the time we allotted for it on Wednesday,” Regan said. “(Trustee) Coe Swobe said he would like (the plan) to be (postponed) until the summer – I’m sure there will be talk about what the timeline should be.”
Indeed, this week Swobe said he will make a motion at Wednesday’s meeting to delay or extend public hearings on the shorezone rules until July or August.
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Swobe and board member Jerome Waldie submitted a written request to discuss the matter further.
“The more open the process can be, the better the bill we are going to get in the end,” Swobe said.
Swobe said he hopes the delay will give property owners who only visit during summer more opportunity to voice concerns.
TRPA Executive Director John Singlaub said there has been ample time for public debate, and now it’s time to move on.
“We want to start implementing these things so there is certainty about what our rules are,” he said.
The public will not see anything new this week, Singlaub said.
“They’ve seen it all before in one alternative or another,” he said.
The agency has not finalized shorezone rules for almost 20 years. It is a controversial topic for several groups, including lakefront homeowners, environmentalists, and recreation and business advocates.
In the summers of 2004 and 2005, the agency released environmental reviews of six options for how to regulate development in the shore area.
TRPA staff noted that by summer 2006, the proposed shorezone plan debate will be entering into its third year with six proposed alternatives to choose from.
Staff would not speculate what the final version may look like; nor whether controversial proposals on weekend boat bans, buoy removal or additional construction of piers would see its way to a final draft plan.
“Basically the preferred alternative will reflect elements of a few alternatives,” Regan said. “When you really get into the concepts, they are hard to agree on.
“The ordinances are where the rubber meets the road, those are the details, as policies relate to buoys, piers, constructions, ordinances. The preferred alternative that may be different from our current code – there are many different parts. The phase of work, writing ordinances, has begun this year – the public should continue to be very interested, because the projects will be processed based on ordinances.”