Lake Tahoe, CA/NV — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is reminding residents and contractors that the annual grading and digging season for permitted projects will end on Sunday, October 15, after which all construction sites must be winterized to protect Lake Tahoe’s famed water clarity. The annual grading season runs from May 1 to October 15.

The long-standing requirement helps prevent sediment from washing into stormwater systems and the lake and prevents soil compaction and disturbance during what meteorological records show is the wettest period at Lake Tahoe. Site winterization requirements are available here.


The agency can approve grading season exceptions for projects on a case-by-case basis if a public health, safety, or a water quality emergency exists.

Some activities do not require TRPA approval, even outside the grading season. Exempt projects can include:

  • Paving, if all grading and base compaction is already complete.
  • Up to 3 cubic yards of soil disturbance that is not part of a larger project, provided that:
    • The work is complete within 48 hours and the site is stabilized to prevent erosion.
    • Work is stopped during wet weather or when the project area is wet.
    • Projects that do not meet these standards are subject to compliance and permitting requirements.
  • Residential home landscaping and gardening projects, including irrigation work.
  • Exempt residential fences up to 6 feet in height.

Projects that create or relocate impervious surfaces, also called land coverage, require a TRPA permit. The grading and digging season for permitted projects at Lake Tahoe will open again May 1, 2024.


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.