TRPA wants to hear about noise |

TRPA wants to hear about noise

Jules Witek

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has rolled out its new online complaint forms and issue tracking program.

Although the program is only a couple of weeks old, the agency has received complaints from the Nevada side of the lake and is looking forward to hearing from the North Shore, said Jeff Cowen, TRPA’s community liaison.

Happy to hear about the new program, Tahoe City Kayak employees had much to share about noisy boats and North Shore noise issues.

“I can hear the motor boats at my house and I live (in Tahoe Vista) a mile from the lake,” said Serenity Enriquez. “I long for the winter so I can kayak in silence, in beautiful peaceful silence …”

Noise from cars is also a problem in Tahoe City, said Tahoe City Kayak manager Christian Adams. He used to live in the house behind the kayak shop and said he constantly heard cars with loud exhaust systems.

“When you’d look outside to see where the noise was coming from, it would be this regular car and you’d be expecting to see some huge truck,” he said.

The new program is tracking noise issues as a separate lake issue. TRPA only tracks noise in key Tahoe areas where it has sensors, but not as a widespread effort. Furthermore, the agency only gathers data every five years for its threshold reports.

TRPA’s Air Quality and Noise Manager Charles Emmett and Cowen came up with the plan to provide data for the Pathway 2007 thresholds for noise, Cowen said.

According to TRPA, the general complaint form is for all basinwide issues so the agency can better sculpt plans for Pathway 2007.

When the complaint program began, the first comments submitted came from neighbors of the Lake Tahoe Airport complaining of noise from planes. While TRPA wasn’t thinking about the airport, the agency has a settlement with the airport from 1980 that addresses airport noise, Cowen said.

Most of the complaints at this time fall into the general category. The majority of the concerns have been from homeowners fearful their neighbors are digging, adding coverage and removing trees illegally.

The response time on a complaint is approximately one week, Cowen said.

Usually a skeptic of the agency, California Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, said he was unsure of the motive behind taking in noise complaints.

“I am wondering why they have a separate complaint form for noise, and if they are building a case for something,” Leslie said.

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