Placer County staff removes contentious amendments from Tahoe Basin Area Plan

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Placer County removed several contentious amendments from the Tahoe Basin Area Plan update after outcry from the community. 

At a Town Hall Meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 1, representatives from Placer County presented the version of the TBAP update which will be presented to the Planning Commission on Thursday, Aug. 10. 

The TBAP was first adopted in 2017 as a way to encourage development in town and city centers in the Tahoe Region of Placer County, especially Tahoe City and Kings Beach. 

It was updated in 2021 but after not seeing the increase in development they were hoping to see, the County embarked on another round of amendments

The amendments are meant to facilitate beneficial environmental development, address aging town centers and vacant commercial spaces (Kings Beach alone has over 30 vacant buildings, according to county staff), encourage more lodging to move visitors and short-term rentals out of the neighborhoods and build more employee housing. 

County staff are hoping the amendments can decrease runoff, reduce congestion, support a year-round economy and support a new, diverse business community. 

However, there was public outcry from the community and organizations such as Mountain Area Preservation and the League to Save Lake Tahoe about certain amendments. Some of the more contentious amendments included an increase in allowed building heights and lengths. 

“We heard loud and clear from the community about height and mass and they have been eliminated from the update,” said Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson during the town hall. 

Gustafson added that those amendments could come back in the future but if they do, they will have to go through another round of public meetings. 

In addition to removing those amendments, staff reinserted several lines back into the plan, including scenic evaluations for new construction, active ground floor uses which includes a stipulation for no more real estate or property management businesses on ground floors, below-ground parking, streetscape requirements and parking maximums. 

The plan update is far from being a done-deal. It will be presented to the Planning Commission on August 10. It will also need to go through all of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency boards for approval before going to Placer County Supervisors for final approval. Gustafson said there is still plenty of opportunity for the public to weigh-in on the plan. 

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