Lake Tahoe, CA/NV – Updated rules to encourage more affordable housing options for Tahoe residents and workers will be considered for adoption by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Board and at its July 29th meeting, the agency said today.

The Lake Tahoe Regional Plan amendments being considered are an initial outcome of the housing initiative TRPA launched last year and include updates intended to remove barriers to creating accessory dwelling units (ADUs), such as adding mother-in-law units to single family dwellings, or re-purposing existing space as an independent living area.

Currently, only properties larger than one acre can apply for a permit to create an ADU, and an additional development right must be secured. Under the proposed changes, any size property could apply for a permit. If an accessory unit is deed-restricted to affordable rates and for rental periods of more than 30 days, the application fees would be waived, and a development right would be provided at no cost. Local government codes would still apply and not all counties currently allow ADUs on parcels less than one acre.

“Protecting workforce housing in a mountain resort community like Lake Tahoe is challenging and these proposed amendments will help workers, seniors, and many businesses that are struggling under current conditions,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said. “More solutions are needed to address our housing crisis and TRPA will continue working with local jurisdictions and other housing partners to meet local and regional housing needs.”

Other amendments in the proposal would allow motel units being redeveloped to change from tourist accommodation use to residential use. Currently, in some cases, this type of redevelopment is limited to tourist accommodation only.

A working group of non-profit, social service, environmental, real estate and local government representatives recommended the amendments as a near-term step to help address Lake Tahoe’s housing crisis. The working group will continue to develop recommendations that further incentivize affordable and workforce units, including smaller market-rate units.

The TRPA Advisory Planning Commission unanimously voted to move the amendments forward to the Governing Board and Regional Plan Implementation Committee on July 29. More information is available at

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 or