Stateline, Nevada – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board on Wednesday unanimously approved Placer County’s Tahoe Basin Area Plan and the Tahoe City Lodge Project.

“This is the fourth area plan approved at Lake Tahoe and an important milestone for implementing the 2012 Regional Plan,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, executive director of TRPA. “With this plan, we can take significant steps to improve the environment and strengthen communities on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.”

The Tahoe Basin Area Plan includes targeted measures to restore environmentally sensitive areas, reduce stormwater pollution, revitalize the economy, and create more walkable and bikeable communities. It covers 72 square miles of Placer County in the Tahoe Basin and creates several new programs.

“Protecting Lake Tahoe and building stronger communities must be a shared, regional effort,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Jennifer Montgomery, whose fifth district includes North Lake Tahoe. “Based on years of input from Placer’s Tahoe communities and organizations, the Tahoe Basin Area Plan makes sure our efforts and those of our basin partners will work hand in hand to achieve environmental restoration and the economic opportunity goals we all share. I’m delighted that the TRPA Governing Board approved our plan today.”

To help address Lake Tahoe’s affordable housing crisis, the area plan allows property owners to build secondary dwelling units, or “mother-in-law units,” regardless of their lot’s size, providing greater housing options. The new units must be deed restricted affordable housing and cannot be used as vacation rentals.

To promote redevelopment and community revitalization, the area plan allows the limited conversion of existing development to new property uses through greater flexibility in Lake Tahoe’s development rights system. Through the program, existing commercial floor area can be converted into the accommodation units needed for tourist lodging projects. The new tourist lodging must have sidewalks, must be located within a designated town center and within one-quarter mile of transit service, and must include best management practices to prevent stormwater pollution. Up to 200 tourist lodging units may be established through the conversion program.

The Tahoe Basin Area Plan also includes measures to address traffic and congestion in North Shore communities, including parking management strategies, wayfinding signage, trip reduction and transportation demand management plans, and adaptive traffic management plans for state Route 267 and state Route 89.

Reviewed and approved as an example of how the Tahoe Basin Area Plan can be used to revitalize communities and restore the environment, the 118-unit Tahoe City Lodge Project will redevelop a blighted building at the Tahoe City Golf Course into a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) level hotel with a mix of hotel rooms and one- and two-bedroom suites, a ground floor restaurant, a rooftop pool and bar, conference facilities, a new clubhouse for the golf course, and parking lot charging stations for zero-emission electric vehicles. The project will reduce coverage at the site by 10,080 square feet and restore 1.7 acres of stream environment zone.

“Today’s approval reflects the hard work and support of many stakeholders in the Tahoe City community, all of whom helped shape this project to be a win for the local economy, a win for the environment, and a win for the future of Tahoe City,” said Samir Tuma, the Tahoe City Lodge project applicant. “As the first new North Shore lodging project in decades, we’re excited to bring visitors to local businesses, employ local residents, and help catalyze the revitalization of the community.”

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 Tom Lotshaw, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278.