The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) was created in 1969 when the California and Nevada legislatures adopted the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact. The Compact, as amended in 1980, defines the mission of TRPA:
“…to enhance governmental efficiency and effectiveness in the Region; and adopt and enforce a Regional Plan to attain the threshold standards, while providing for orderly growth and development consistent with the standards.”
To Enhance Governmental Efficiency and Effectiveness
The TRPA Governing Board is made up of 15 members; seven from California, seven from Nevada, and one non-voting Presidential appointee. Six members, who are locally-elected officials or their designees, represent the units of local government. The Compact provides for a majority of the seats to be held by citizens from outside the Tahoe Region (representing at-large voters from the two states) so the Board could focus on issues not only of local interest, but also of state-wide and nation-wide interest.
TRPA’s Regional Jurisdiction
TRPA was created as a regional agency because the Lake Tahoe watershed crosses a number of state and local political boundaries. A regional agency like TRPA champions the environmental cause, and provides a focal point for networks of technical experts. It provides consistent environmental standards for the Region and, thus helps control the cumulative effects of additional development.
To Establish Environmental Threshold Standards for the Region
The threshold standards are definitions of environmental quality which we hope to achieve in the Tahoe region. The Governing Board has adopted threshold standards, also called carrying capacities, in nine areas:
– water quality
– air quality
– soil conservation
– fish habitat
– wildlife habitat
– scenic resources
To Adopt and Enforce a Regional Plan to Attain the Threshold Standards
The Regional Plan is made up of several documents including the Goals and Policies, Plan Area Statements (land use maps), Code of Ordinances, Regional Transportation/Air Quality Plan, Federal Clean Water Act Water Quality Improvement Plan, Scenic Quality Improvement Program and others. The TRPA Governing Board has sole authority to amend the Regional Plan which guides policy and provides the framework for the daily operations of the agency. The goal of the Regional Plan is attainment of the nine threshold standards.
To Provide for Orderly Growth and Development With the Standards
TRPA sees itself primarily as an environmental agency, but recognizes the interdependence of environmental, economic and social well-being in the Tahoe region. Environmental groups, property right advocates, business interests and numerous government agencies involved at Lake Tahoe agree that tourism and successful locally-owned businesses are key to economic vitality and are dependent upon the attractiveness of the region’s environment. The Regional Plan allows for a controlled rate of residential, commercial and recreational growth, the impacts of which are controlled throught mitigation measures.
128 Market Street
PO Box 5310
Stateline, NV 89449