TRPA Announces 2010 Best in Basin Award Winners

Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) will recognize recipients of the 2010 Best in the Basin Awards at its Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach, CA.

This is the 21st year TRPA’s Best in the Basin awards program has recognized projects demonstrating exceptional planning, design, and compatibility with the Lake Tahoe environment. Local professionals in the fields of landscaping, planning, engineering, water quality, and resource management judged each category. The restoration and protection efforts at Lake Tahoe are among the most innovative in the world and set an example for other communities facing similar issues, according to the Agency.

“We are on a world stage at Lake Tahoe and there are certain projects every year that stand out as examples to our own communities as well as the global community,” TRPA Community Liaison Jeff Cowen said. “These property owners and land managers deserve to be recognized for their efforts to show us what can be done when we strive to protect a treasure like Lake Tahoe.”

The 2010 Best in the Basin project winners are:
Sustainable Maintenance
Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and Washoe County Decant Basins, Spooner Summit and Washoe County Incline Village Maintenance Yard, NV

Erosion Control
City of South Lake Tahoe Al Tahoe Project 1, Pasadena and Lakeview avenues

Homewood Mountain Resort Road Restoration, Homewood, CA

BMP Retrofit
Village Shopping Center, Incline Village, NV

BMP Retrofit Honorable Mention
Hagy Residence, 690 David Drive, Incline Village, NV.

Commercial Modification
The DIY Center, 1875 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA

Residential Modification/Shorezone
Houghton-Berry Residence, Rubicon Bay, CA

Sustainable Maintenance
Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and Washoe County Decant Basins Nominated in their own unique category, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and Washoe County Decant Basins received a joint award this year for the solution-oriented approach these basins bring to Lake Tahoe restoration efforts. The basins are located at the NDOT sand storage facility on Spooner Summit and at the Washoe County Maintenance Yard in Incline Village.

The decant basins are places where contaminated sludge vacuumed from roadway stormwater filtration systems can be deposited and water allowed to evaporate, or decant. Once decanted, the dry sediment can be cost-effectively hauled to their destination at landfills out of the Tahoe Region.

Stormwater needs to be filtered to remove the fine sediments and particles of dirt that wash off hard surfaces at Tahoe every time it rains or snow melts rapidly. This sediment has caused the Lake to lose 30 feet of its famed clarity since the 1960s. The underground stormwater infiltration systems are installed along roads as part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP). Long-term, sustainable maintenance of all EIP projects is a primary focus of the program to ensure the restoration projects can be sustainably maintained.

This is a collaborative project between NDOT and Washoe County, in association with the engineering firm of Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Erosion Control
Al Tahoe Project 1 in South Lake Tahoe won this year as an outstanding innovation in environmental streetscape. The City of South Lake Tahoe looked for solutions along certain streets in the Al Tahoe neighborhood that would infiltrate stormwater and control erosion while maintaining community character and the possibility for on-street parking. The result can be seen in the attractive permeable paved road shoulders and wooden bollards installed along Pasadena Avenue and the curb, gutter and bike lanes on Lakeview Ave. Any remaining stormwater runoff is conveyed into a sophisticated system of underground vaults and filter cartridges near Regan Beach for cleaning before being released into Lake Tahoe.
The City of South Lake Tahoe was assisted by Wood Rodgers, Inc., V&C Construction, and Burdick Construction.

The Homewood Mountain Resort Road Restoration project won the restoration category this year for restoring more than 290,000 square feet, or 3.3 miles, of old roads, which has resulted in an estimated reduction of over 60 tons of sediment runoff. Rather than simply revegetating disturbed areas, the project goals address soil health, maximizing infiltration and supporting self-sustaining vegetation communities.

Homewood’s approach to both road and forest restoration relies on an adaptive management model and the resort team uses comprehensive monitoring for effectiveness to help inform restoration efforts around the Region. Recognition for the project goes to Homewood Mountain Resorts, LLC, Homewood Mountain Staff, Integrated Environmental Services and Midkiff & Associates Consulting.

BMP Retrofit
Village Shopping Center in Incline Village, NV receives an award this year for installation of rock-lined bio-swales and vegetated basins for stormwater treatment. The project focused on low-impact design standards. No material was exported from the site during construction and very little material was brought in.
Recognition for the project goes to owners Greg and Arthur Hoff and contractor/consultant Rob Basile with Basile Management Practice.

BMP Retrofit Honorable Mention
Also nominated in the BMP Retrofit category was the Hagy Residence at 690 David Drive in Incline Village, NV. Overall, the retrofit project showed an artistic sensitivity and attractive design and addressed the challenge of a steep driveway. To treat water from the driveway and ensure ease of maintenance, the owner opted to install an underground system with a sediment trap and maintenance port.

The Best In Basin judges agreed that owner Gerry Hagy and contractor/consultant Rob Basile with Basile Management Practice would receive an honorable mention award for this project.

Commercial Modification
The DIY Center at 1875 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe, CA wins best commercial modification this year for overall design, planning, architecture, and water quality improvements. Approximately 13,000 square feet of asphalt coverage were removed and lush bio-swales installed along the highway frontage.

Recognition for the project goes to owners Blackfire Real Estate Investors and partners Brett Long Landscape Architecture, C2ME Engineering, Carricaburu Construction, Robert Darney Architect and Mapes Landscaping. The City of South Lake Tahoe planning department provided important input and assistance.
Residential Modification/Shorezone

The Houghton-Berry property is located atop a steep bluff in Rubicon Bay where the shoreline suffers from highly eroded banks and severe undercutting. The design challenge was to protect the site from further erosion and loss of pine trees while maintaining the aesthetic character of the area. Rather than proceed with conventional, mechanical erosion control methods, the owners incorporated the latest technology to complete a sustainable restoration project.

Soil nails were launched into the hillside, followed by application of a webbing layer. That layer was then covered by jute material where planting pockets were incorporated to ensure revegatation would take hold. The entire bank utilized mostly-indigenous boulders from the site and native plantings selected for the Rubicon micro-climate. The result is a model for future bank stabilization and erosion control projects.

Recognition for the project goes to owner Meganne Houghton-Berry; Civil Engineer John S. Black Consulting; Geological Engineers Jake Hudson, Holdrege & Kull; General Contractor/Soil & Nail Launcher James Chinchiolo, Landslide Solutions, Inc.; Landscape Design & Insulation Pat Fox, Native Plant Farm; Excavation Flipper Manchester, F&B Inc.; Scenic Consultant Corey Brooks; Scenic Simulation Aron Souza & Steve Wyda; Project Consultant Jan Brisco, Jan Brisco Consulting.

Each project owner or representative will be presented with a certificate of appreciation during a ceremony at the beginning of the Governing Board meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Information about the projects will also be displayed on the TRPA website. For additional details and photographs of these projects, please contact Jeff Cowen of the TRPA at 775-589-5278 or email to

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future.

One Response to "TRPA Announces 2010 Best in Basin Award Winners"

  1. Jack@ieSediment Control   March 1, 2011, 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm

    Exciting stuff. Gotta love Lake Tahoe, except for how cold that water can be at times…. BRrrRRRR!