At Tahoe smart bet on the lawsuits |

At Tahoe smart bet on the lawsuits

At the end of 2012, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency went all in on an update to the regional plan that it hoped would forestall a bill calling for its abolition.

That bet was called last week when the Sierra Club and the Friends of the West Shore bellied up to federal court and dropped a lawsuit into the pot.

In the 2011 Legislature, Nevada passed Senate Bill 271 calling to end the bistate compact which formed the agency unless changes were made in how the agency was governed.

Those opposing the regional plan say that for at least some of those alterations to take place, they would also have to pass the California Legislature and Congress. They say that those are long odds for the agency charged with preserving Lake Tahoe to allow local control over development.

Rather than allow the plan to go into effect unchallenged they sued to stop it.

And that’s the real difficulty for whomever ends up in charge of determining the lake’s future.

Lake Tahoe is a jurisdiction where litigation is as common as trees, and even with frightening regularity, over trees.

One thing’s for sure, ending the bi-state charter won’t end the stream of lawsuits coming at whomever’s responsible for Lake Tahoe’s preservation.

A wise attorney we know once described a lawsuit as three pieces of paper and a filing fee. With the long, litigious history of the TRPA, we would have been shocked if the regional plan hadn’t been challenged.