Lawsuit Against TRPA and Sierra Colina Project Dismissed

Stateline, NV – A federal judge ruled in favor of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Sierra Colina project today in a decision to dismiss the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s lawsuit against the project, according to TRPA officials. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board permitted the Sierra Colina project in June 2009 with widespread public support and the developer’s commitment to meeting community as well as environmental goals. Sierra Colina is an 18-acre residential development project site located in the casino core area of Stateline, Nevada. The project is designed to be a single and multi-family home neighborhood using state-of-the-art environmental building techniques, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.

In their lawsuit, the League to Save Lake Tahoe challenged the adequacy of TRPA’s environmental review. In his order dismissing the League’s claim, US District Judge Robert Jones of the District of Nevada agreed with TRPA that “the project was consistent with restoring, maintaining, and improving the quality of the Lake Tahoe Region for visitors and residents of the region..” and that “it would be built to TRPA design codes and in accordance with the land use regulations set for the project area.” He concluded that TRPA acted appropriately in approving the Sierra Colina permit and that the Agency had properly analyzed all environmental impacts.

The judge also went to considerable lengths pointing out the community and environmental benefits of the Sierra Colina project including promotion of energy conservation programs, using LEED construction techniques, improving water quality standards, meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements, creating public access bike and hiking trails, promoting alternative transportation, reducing carbon emissions, providing moderate income housing as well as the conveyance of 10.7 acres of the project parcel for public use and open space.

“Additionally, the project applicant’s continued cooperation with Douglas County would reduce runoff and erosion impacts to the site as well as surrounding areas associated with runoff from lake Village Drive,” Jones stated in his order.

“The Sierra Colina project went above and beyond the extremely rigorous environmental standards we have here at Lake Tahoe and exemplifies the public-private partnership model so critical to improving the clarity of the lake as well as the well-being our local community and economy,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, TRPA Executive Director.

For the last year, the project’s developers have been working to install water quality improvement projects on the property as part of their original commitment to the community during the permitting process. These improvements, along with wetlands restoration, public trails, and green building measures make the Sierra Colina project a leading example of sustainable development at Lake Tahoe.

“We’re grateful for the Court’s decision, which we feel recognizes a private sector economic component in protecting Tahoe’s environment; it’s a win for all who care about finding a new balance at Lake Tahoe,” said co-owner of Sierra Colina, LLC, Gail Jaquish.

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. For additional information, call Kristi Boosman at (775) 589-5230 or send an email to .