TRPA July 3, 2008

TRPA Part 1: An Introduction to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Imagine the Lake Tahoe basin with 800,000 homes in it. A freeway, connecting different mountain peaks, overlooks the basin where the Tahoe Rim Trail currently lies. Lake Tahoe is another San Francisco. This is what many area planners hoped for in the 1960’s, shortly after the Olympic Games at Squaw Valley. Fortunately the government stepped in, and the U.S. Congress ratified an agreement in 1969 creating the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA).

These days the TRPA is most often a target of criticism. The agency has had a tremendous affect on property owners and seekers in the Tahoe basin. Best Management Practices (BMP) regulations require homeowners to spend thousands to avoid water runoff from their properties. Proposed home additions are often blocked by the TRPA; and $5,000 fines are levied to those who remove trees without a permit.

In the weeks to come, several of my posts will cover different aspects of the TRPA and how it affects life in Lake Tahoe.