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Battle Over Future Of Tahoe Shoreline

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Battle Over Future Of Tahoe Shoreline

Postby copeg » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:02 pm

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?sectio ... id=5010163
Battle Over Future Of Tahoe Shoreline
Why Solution Is Satisfying Nobody
Feb. 6 - KGO - A waterfront battle over plans that could change the landscape at Lake Tahoe, and the solution nobody is happy about.

It's been about fifty years since an explosion of development began around Lake Tahoe. Restaurants, hotels and casinos lined the shore. The lake began to fill with boats. Tourists flocked to the area.
Julie Regan: "Back in the 50's and 60's, people envisioned a community the size of San Francisco here at Lake Tahoe -- up to 800,000 people at max build out."

Environmentalists sounded the alarm. So Congress created the "Tahoe Regional Planning Agency" - known as TRPA -- its mission: put the brakes on development.

Julie Regan: "To establish equilibrium between the natural environment and the manmade environment."

In 1987, TRPA created rules for development around the lake. But one area was so controversial, it was left out: the shore zone, where Lake Tahoe's water meets land. The big sticking point was building piers.

Marc Gordon, Tahoe Homeowner: "It's created a lot of tension and friction between the neighbors that have them and the neighbors that don't."

For twenty years, the only people allowed to build new piers have been the ones replacing old piers. Marc Gordon had to dig up pictures from the 1960's to show details of his family's original pier.

Marc Gordon: "The process is so complex you have really no choice but to hire consultants."

The TRPA has finally come up with a proposed shore zone plan for the future -- three volumes of ordinances covering everything from -- how lakefront houses should look -- to the number of buoys for tying up boats -- to the big one: building piers. No one seems happy about the proposal.

Not environmentalists.

Rochelle Nason, League to Save Lake Tahoe: "We think it's the biggest threat to the lake that we have dealt with in the 12 or 13 years."

And not a lot of homeowners, many of whom are from the Bay Area

Jan Brisco, Tahoe Lakefront Owners' Assn: "This is discrimination against a group of property owners, they just happen to be on the waterfront, and it's not fair."

There are now 768 piers on the lake, the proposal would allow 10 new piers a year.

Rochelle Nason: "There are large stretches of the lake that are right now protected from pier development. This proposal allows virtually unlimited pier building on those parcels."

The League to Save Lake Tahoe says piers block people from walking and kayaking along the shore.

Rochelle Nason: "We already have a very intensive use of the Tahoe shoreline in many places. A tremendous concentration of boats, a lot of places are noisy. A lot already smell of gas and emissions."

But homeowners say they have a right to a pier on private property.

Marc Gordon: "They are part of using water in a safe fashion. It's not always easy to bring a boat on the rocks."

Many homeowners object to the proposed $100,000 dollar fee to build a new pier. They also complain the proposal makes it too hard to repair existing piers.

Jan Brisco: "The minute you replace one piling, drive one piling in Lake Tahoe, it could trigger a whole myriad of requirements."

TRPA officials say they're trying to balance environmental concerns with homeowner rights, but doubt there's any way everyone will end up happy.

Julie Regan: "Lake Tahoe does belong to everyone, but we do have to share."

Real estate agents told us a pier can add from $750,000 dollars to $2 million dollars in value to a home on the lake. TRPA was supposed to vote on the shore zone plan last month, but there was such an outcry, they've delayed the vote to hold more public meetings.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney



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copeg
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Postby SteveB » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:25 am

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out: good for Tahoe, good for business, or good for the millionaire homeowners (a pier can increase the value of an existing home by $2 million?). Thanks for posting, TB: I'll certainly be keeping my eyes on this one!
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Postby BSquared » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:12 pm

SteveB wrote:...a pier can increase the value of an existing home by $2 million?...


Yeah, it's funny when you're confronted with such a disconnect between worlds, isn't it? "Increase" the value of my home by 2 million? Then it'd be worth about 2 million :lol: Reminds me of the time I was talking guitars with a new acquaintance who turned out to work for a music store: "I could save you $1,000 on your next guitar," he said. No, I don't think so... :cool:
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Postby SteveB » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:25 pm

BSquared wrote:Yeah, it's funny when you're confronted with such a disconnect between worlds, isn't it?


No doubt. Someone in the article was saying that they should have the right to build a pier on their property, so I got to wondering what property rights they do have for such a thing. I know that generally a homeowner has the water rights out to one-half the distance to the middle of the body of water (think streams), but what about lakes? Curious. I wonder what rights they really do, and if public good (environmental and aesthetic) trumps those rights, such as at South Lake?
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