Stateline, NV – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is updating the schedule for the release of the Regional Plan draft documents for late April, according to TRPA officials, and remains committed to completing the updated Regional Plan by December 2012 as scheduled.
The Regional Plan Update is a blueprint for the Tahoe Region’s sustainable future. As part of this plan update, six draft documents will be released for public review by TRPA in late April: the draft of the updated plan and corresponding environmental impact statement along with code of ordinances documents, the Regional Transportation Plan and related environmental impact statement, and the Threshold Evaluation Report.
TRPA officials acknowledged the schedule for completion of the Regional Plan Update is aggressive. “We knew throughout the process that interim milestone dates would likely shift, as is the case with the release of the plan documents, and we built in additional time to account for these changes,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, TRPA Executive Director. “TRPA’s Regional Plan Update Committee, under the efficient leadership of California board member Clem Shute, worked tirelessly to review the draft plan line by line and additional time is needed to incorporate the committee and public’s input into the draft plan,” Marchetta said.
Over the last six months, the TRPA Regional Plan Update Committee has engaged local community members in open meetings to craft the draft Regional Plan. The plan has evolved substantially over the course of these meetings and is a better plan as a result, according to Marchetta. The Regional Plan Update draft documents had been scheduled to be released at the upcoming Governing Board meeting on March 28, followed by a 60-day public input period. Input from stakeholders is considered a critical part of the Regional Plan Update process, according to TRPA officials, and the updated schedule is being designed to reflect community concerns about having adequate time to review the numerous documents.
Under the updated schedule, the March Governing Board meetings will be cancelled and the rollout of the draft Regional Plan will take place at the Governing Board meetings scheduled for April 25 and 26. Evening public workshops are being scheduled for late May to provide additional opportunities for community engagement on the draft plan.
“The environmental review team will use the next few weeks to incorporate all public and board input into the draft documents to ensure the analysis is complete, consistent, coordinated, and of high quality,” said Marchetta.
One of the documents scheduled for April release, the draft Threshold Evaluation Report, provides an overview of the condition of the Tahoe ecosystem and tracks progress on TRPA’s hundreds of environmental standards, called thresholds. For the first time in TRPA’s history, this report will be peer reviewed by independent scientific experts. The peer review of the report is underway and the revised schedule will allow the work of the independent panel of scientists to be incorporated into the draft documents.
During the April TRPA Governing Board meeting, the board will have an open discussion on the length of time for public comment on the draft environmental impact statement on the regional plan. The discussion will center on whether the comment period should be 60, 75, or 90 days, and how each choice will impact the final Regional Plan Update delivery schedule.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .