TRPA efforts important to Carson, supervisor says |

TRPA efforts important to Carson, supervisor says

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s reputation hasn’t always been stellar, but things have been changing for the better, according to Carson City’s representative.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean says the organization has been working hard to be more moderate in its approach to Tahoe-area issues.

She describes it as more “fair minded.”

“Balance is important,” Aldean said. “Safeguarding the environment and protecting property rights aren’t mutually exclusive.”

The goal is to balance social, natural and financial interests. Threats to the lake area include increased demand on its resources by people living in outlying communities and a lack of public awareness about the area’s environment.

While lake clarity isn’t eroding as quickly as it had previously, the area still is highly prone to wildfires and invasive species. Boats not properly cleaned could bring Eurasian water milfoil, for example, an aquatic weed that causes havoc to the lake’s ecosystem. And Quaaga mussels also pose a threat, Aldean said.

A new shorezone ordinance is being considered that would allow construction of piers, which were previously thought to be harmful to fish, for example.

Many Carson City residents use the lake, but that’s only one reason why it’s of importance to the community: Its condition has a region-wide impact on economics, especially tourism, she said.

“That big blue body of water is important to Carson City,” she said. “We take it for granted, but it’s a huge resource for us.”

The V&T Railway route reformation is a project that reflects economic regionalism because the railroad “carried timber from the Tahoe basin to create the Comstock,” said Joe McCarthy, Carson City Development Manager.

Two schools of thought exist regarding the tie between Carson City and Lake Tahoe. Some people believe Carson City “would be remiss” if travelers weren’t reminded that the lake is only 20 minutes away. Others are staunch in their opinion that the city, being Nevada’s state capital and the site of numerous historic locales, stands strong on its own as a tourist destination, McCarthy said.

Aldean believes strongly in the importance of maintaining a regional economic tie. She has been the city’s representative to the TRPA for four years, and gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Thursday about the 15-member agency and its goals.

Communities in Nevada and California, and one federal government representative, comprise the board.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

– Gave initial approval to changes in the city’s handicapped parking ordinance. The change brings with it an increase in the penalty for using a handicapped parking space without a proper license plate or placard from $100 to $250.

– Approved purchase of the Desormier property, 19 acres located near the Carson River in the 4700 block of Golden Eagle Lane, through the city’s Open Space program for $300,000.

– Opted not to change the city’s charter to provide the same benefits to elected officials that unclassified personnel now receive.