Carson officials to take stand on bill to withdraw from TRPA

Carson City officials are meeting Friday - as are Douglas County leaders - to discuss a newly amended bill calling for the potential withdrawal of Nevada from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean, who has served on the TRPA board for the past eight years, said she plans to recommend that the board of supervisors support the amended version of Senate Bill 271.

In April, supervisors voted unanimously that they would not take a position on the bill as it was introduced by Sen. John Lee, and Aldean cited grave concerns about dismantling the agency.

Douglas County Manager Michael Brown said Wednesday that a special meeting of the county commissioners is set for 4 p.m. Friday.

"We're basically doing the same thing as Carson City. I just talked with City Manager Larry Werner, and like them, we are meeting to get direction from our board to see whether we'll support the amended bill," Brown said.

Aldean said the amended version casts a new light on the bill.

"Although I'm sympathetic that Nevada has expressed profound concerns about violations of its sovereignty, no thought was given in the original legislation to a logical transition from TRPA to a reconstituted TRPA so that the momentum that has occurred in connection with control of aquatic invasive species can be maintained," Aldean said Wednesday.

"My recommendation will be to ask the board to support the amended legislation because it has changed significantly since it was initially introduced. It gives Nevada time to gear up to assume responsibilities that have been under the auspices of TRPA," she said.

Instead of pulling Nevada out of the compact, the amended Senate Bill 271 calls for changes in how the agency operates, threatening withdrawal only if those changes don't happen.

The biggest change is the elimination of the super majority voting rule required for the approval of projects and the certifying of environmental impact statements. Many have complained California members use that rule to block practically every development.

In addition, anyone suing to challenge any part of the basinwide regional plan would have the burden of showing that the plan violates the compact.

Lee said the plan also would be changed to require the governing board to consider economic conditions in the Tahoe Basin so that its decisions do not negatively impact the economy.

Aldean said that if California and the U.S. Congress reject these and other changes to the compact in the bill, Nevada could withdraw from the bistate compact effective in 2015.

"The provision also gives the agency a mandate to make sure significant progress has been made by Oct. 1, 2013," Aldean said. "The states have to work together harmoniously."

The bill next goes to the Senate floor and, if approved, still would have to be approved by the Assembly.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors meets at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. Go to to download an agenda and a complete information packet.


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