Tahoe Basin Area Plan will guide environmental restoration and land use regulation

Published on November 04, 2016

After nearly five years of development, Placer County and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency have released the Tahoe Basin Area Plan and final supporting environmental documents. 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 area plan will be presented at seven public meetings over the next three months, including the Placer County Planning Commission, the Placer County Board of Supervisors and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board. The latter two must approve the plan to enable its adoption.

“We’ve done a great job as a community, working together toward environmental improvements in the Lake Tahoe Basin, but there is still much more we can and should do,” said Crystal Jacobsen, Placer County principal planner for the Tahoe Basin Area Plan. “Extensive public input helped shape this plan, which is our community vision, our roadmap to continue restoring the lake, while also improving the economy and livability of North Tahoe.”

The area plan is intended to implement the TRPA Regional Plan, which encompasses the entire Tahoe Basin. Development of the plan has involved approximately 10 agencies, key environmental groups and extensive public involvement.

For Placer County, four citizen advisory groups consisting of 36 local participants from environmental groups, commercial businesses and residents met regularly. The county participated in more than 30 public meetings to ensure a well-informed citizenry and to seek input at every opportunity.

A key to improving the fragile ecosystem of Lake Tahoe is the replacement of development in outlying and environmentally sensitive areas with focused, environmentally beneficial redevelopment in existing town centers. The Tahoe Basin Area 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 emphasizes revitalization of the town centers of Kings Beach and Tahoe City.

With few new projects built in the past 40 years, the North Lake Tahoe is lacking new development that could remove blight, spur environmentally beneficial redevelopment and bring jobs to the area.

The Tahoe City Lodge project is included as part of the Tahoe Basin Area Plan hearings because it was developed in line with the plan’s development standards. If approved, the 118-unit lodge will be the first privately-funded environmental redevelopment project in North Lake Tahoe in decades. It will incentivize and facilitate redevelopment in the Tahoe City town center. The lodge project has its own environmental analysis.

The area plan is a county-initiated update to its land use regulations for the basin, updating existing community plans, general plans, plan area statements, maps and regulations. It is the product of extensive public outreach and includes the input of diverse interests and viewpoints.

The Tahoe Basin Area Plan will be heard by the Placer County Planning Commission on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd., in Kings Beach. Other meetings will be publicly noticed.

The final environmental impact report/environmental impact statement and the Tahoe Basin Area Plan are available on the Placer County website: Tahoe Basin Area Plan

Hard copies are also available for review at the Kings Beach Library, 301 Secline Street, and the Tahoe City Library, 740 North Lake Blvd.