Tahoe Regional Plan Update and Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy Adopted

 On December 12, 2012, the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency voted 12 – 1 with one abstention to adopt an updated Tahoe Regional Plan and a new Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS).

Both California and Nevada state leaders have spoken in support of the collaborative efforts that went into protecting Lake Tahoe. The two primary agencies, both created out of the Bi-State Compact of 1980, involved in the creation of the regional plans were the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and the Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Originally enacted in 1987 because of alarm over reduced clarity in the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Regional Plan creates a more efficient planning framework, controls the amount and type of community development, and simplifies the complex regulations that homeowners face, among many other improvements. The goals and policies of the Regional Plan are to reach and maintain existing environmental requirements while planning and facilitating beneficial growth and development, as dictated by the Bi-State Compact. The approved Plan Update accomplishes this by adding further incentive for the transfer of development back into existing community centers to encourage environmentally and economically beneficial redevelopment. It continues to honor the TRPA goal of protecting and enhancing Lake Tahoe’s legendary clarity.

 The new RTP helps to meet the per capita targets set by the California Air Resources Board by including an SCS that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. It has combined land use policies and transportation investments, ensuring that everything is in compliance with Senate Bill 375 (The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act). The RTP/SCS also helps mitigate existing traffic issues, promotes automobile alternatives for transportation, while repairing water quality issues caused by transit.

These regional plans will shape environmental regulation and life in the Lake Tahoe Basin for the next two decades, providing a framework for continued environmental improvement and interstate cooperation. TRPA’s Executive Director, Joanne S. Marchetta, has stated that the level of public participation shows a commitment and dedication by the people of the Lake Tahoe Basin to enforcing vitally important protections even though they have been so hotly contested. (Michel Wigney)