Restoring the Upper Truckee River and the 2013 home building season allocations both received the green light from the governing board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency on Wednesday.
The approval for the Upper Truckee Reach Five Restoration Project, part of the environmental improvement program, marks the continuation of a one of the largest ecosystem restoration initiatives in the Sierra Nevada region. This project represents one of several ongoing river restoration projects, which is a high priority for meeting environmental thresholds in the Tahoe Basin. Of all 63 streams that flow into Lake Tahoe, the Upper Truckee River deposits the most amount of fine sediment.
Located on both United States Forest Service and California Tahoe Conservancy land, the Upper Truckee Reach Five Project will restore 7,400 feet of river channel and 120 acres of stream zone to their natural states.
Nancy Gibson, Forest Supervisor for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, presented the project to the Governing Board. “This is one of the best investments we can make to achieve environmental gain in the Tahoe Basin,” she said. “Several years of post-project monitoring are planned to evaluate the effectiveness of this restoration effort at achieving its goals and objectives.”
The Upper Truckee Reach Five Restoration Project is fully funded and, with the TRPA Governing Board’s unanimous approval, has received all the necessary permits to proceed. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.
Next the Governing Board approved distribution of the 2013 residential allocations (the number of new homes to be built) allowed for each local jurisdiction as part of the recently approved Regional Plan Update. The residential allocations program is designed to help achieve environmental thresholds by linking the number of residential allocations each jurisdiction receives to their achievement of four performance measures. The 2,600 residential allocations for the entire Tahoe Basin are being metered out over a period of 20 years.
For 2013, the number of residential allocations allowed ranged from a minimum of 34 to a maximum of 130. The performance measures met by each local jurisdiction in 2012 set the level of allocations at 86 allowed as follows: Douglas County: 6, Washoe County: 16, El Dorado County: 32, City of South Lake Tahoe: 13, Placer County: 19.
After the presentation, a robust discussion occurred between the members of the Governing Board with several members of the public commenting as well.
“The allocation release program has a direct impact on the social, economic and environmental health of the Tahoe Basin and needs to be updated,” said Pat Davison, Executive Director of the Contractors Association of Tahoe Truckee.
TRPA Chairwoman Shelly Aldean, added: “I’m pleased that we’re taking a step forward today to implement the Regional Plan, and we commit to work with the community to update the process for distributing building allocations. Economic conditions should be included as part of the allocation process in order to avoid a large back log of people waiting for permits,” she said.
The Governing Board passed the 2013 residential allocations as proposed, but directed TRPA staff to prepare a briefing on the historical creation of the residential allocation distribution program to present at the May 22 Governing Board meeting.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future. For additional information, call Kristi Boosman at (775) 589-5230 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.