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Planning commission OKs Tahoe Basin Area Plan, Tahoe City Lodge project

November 18, 2016

In a special meeting in Kings Beach, the Placer County Planning Commission  on Thursday recommended approval of the Tahoe Basin Area Plan to the Placer County Board of Supervisors. The plan outlines how the county will achieve environmental restoration goals for Lake Tahoe and set land-use regulations for Placer County’s portion of the Tahoe Basin for the next 20 years. The commission also recommended the Board approve the Tahoe City Lodge project which will be the first project developed using the regulatory provisions outlined in the area plan and recommended certification of the joint environmental review document.

After five years of public input and revision, the plan, which encompasses 72 square miles of the Lake Tahoe Basin in Placer County, and supporting environmental documents were publicly released earlier this month. The plan seeks to improve the fragile ecosystem of Lake Tahoe by replacing development in outlying and environmentally sensitive areas with focused, environmentally beneficial redevelopment in existing town centers.

The plan includes key elements designed to create walkable communities, increase alternative transportation options, restore the environment and help achieve sustainability of existing communities. The plan also outlines ways to improve aesthetic conditions, restore environmentally sensitive lands, enhance recreation opportunities and improve transportation options.

“The plan is product of significant community input and collaboration with stakeholders and our partners in the Basin, including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and so we are very pleased with the Planning Commission’s recommendation to adopt it,” said Crystal Jacobsen, Placer County principal planner for the Tahoe Basin Area Plan.

The county and TRPA have spent the last several years coordinating the preparation of the plan to ensure it conforms to the TRPA Regional Plan. The plan contains specific policies that concentrate development and enhance mobility in the town centers and ensure transit is a viable alternative to automobile travel.

The Tahoe City Lodge project will build a 118-unit lodge that will include a mix of hotel rooms and one-bedroom and two-bedroom hotel suites, hotel amenities and parking. The project will be subject to the area plan’s regulations and will involve redevelopment of the existing clubhouse at the Tahoe City Golf Course and restoration of environmentally sensitive areas nearby.

With few new projects built in the past 40 years, North Lake Tahoe is lacking new development that could remove blight, spur environmentally beneficial redevelopment and bring jobs to the area. At the Kings Beach meeting, numerous members of the public spoke in favor of the project, many commenting that the lodge project is the redevelopment the area needs. Representatives from the League to Save Lake Tahoe also spoke in favor of the plan and the project.     

In developing the area plan, Placer County embarked on a robust public outreach effort. Four citizen advisory groups consisting of 36 local participants from environmental groups, commercial businesses and residents met regularly. The county participated in more than four dozen public meetings to seek input from residents and ensure they were well informed.      

The plan will next come before the Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Dec. 6 for review. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board is tentatively scheduled to take up the plan at its January 25 and 26, 2017 meeting. Placer County and the TRPA are jointly proposing to adopt the area plan.
 
The area plan is available for review online at Tahoe Basin Area Plan

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