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Some Serious Stuff Going Down at Tahoe

We have reported from time to time about the challenges that North Tahoe locals face - massive traffic jams, short-term rental abuse, wacky land use proposals and the like. These days it seems like there is a planning disaster erupting almost every week. Locals who try to make sense of it all are pushed to the brink. Over the years they have gotten used to having to do battle with Placer County, with its generally insensitive Board of Supervisors holding sway 60 miles away on the other side of the Sierras. Lately, though, a new enemy has arisen. The bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), which is mandated to PROTECT Tahoe, seems to have turned to the dark side by favoring intense developments that promise to RUIN Tahoe. Or at least that's what some of the locals are saying.

May contain: garbage and trash
Not enforcing short-term rental rules can result in bears getting into trash bins, which is bad for the bears, bad for the environment and bad for property values

What exactly are the locals dealing with right now? Let's count the ways: TRPA's fake affordable housing plan (AKA the more expensive condos plan), CEQA abuse by Placer County (that has generated a lawsuit), Placer County's developer-friendly Tahoe Basin Area Plan amendments, the utter lack of enforcement of rules governing the Northshore's 3,900 short-term rentals (AKA party houses and/or mini hotels), and...well, just read the recent Op-Ed published by Moonshine Ink entitled "Preserving the Essence of North Lake Tahoe: A Call for Responsible Development".

Despite more than 300 received public comments, the Placer County Board of Supervisors passed the amendments on Oct. 31 in Auburn without opening the meeting for public discussion, based on their faulty premise that all of the public’s comments had been previously addressed.
Ron Grassi, Leah Kaufman, Kristina Hill, Sue Daniels, Pam Chamblin, Niobe Burden Austere, Don Fulda, Elise Fett, and Dale Munsterman in "Preserving the Essence of North Lake Tahoe: A Call for Responsible Development" (Moonshine Ink, Nov. 9, 2023)

What's going on at Tahoe now is like the old saying, "It's hard to remember you are draining the swamp when you are up to here in alligators." There are so many short-term crises that it is impossible for locals to focus on the long-term solution of gaining local control. And that, of course, plays into the hands of those who are currently profiting at the expense of the local residents and local small businesses: out-of-area developers, out-of-state corporations, venture capital firms and untouchable politicians. Northshore residents and businessess are getting steamrolled. Sure, they have had some succesful lawsuits over the massive development of Martis Valley and the intense upscaling of Squaw Valley, er..Palisade Tahoe. But it all feels a bit like the Little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike. It's unfair and heartbreaking that North Tahoe has become a poster child for the need for local control.

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