Building a deck just got a lot easier around Tahoe, says TRPA

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Building a deck just got a lot easier around Tahoe, says TRPA

New amendments to Section 208 of the Clean Water Act regulating the Tahoe Basin are now going make it easier for residents to build out on their land. The EPA announced the changes Thursday.

Until now, many people living on older properties around Lake Tahoe were locked into land coverage rules that were a generation old. And they've prevented folks from building something as simple as a deck. Amendments to those outdated rules were adopted along with the Regional Plan in December last year, but it wasn't till now that the EPA officially signed off on it.

Jeff Cowen is with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency:

"This is a watershed wide rule change and kind of a shift in thinking."

TRPA has been moving toward incentivizing such land coverage improvements for some time. Cowen says this is the one of the best tools they have to reverse the effect of pollution and run-off on the Lake.

"Remodeling and small home additions, you know, a small deck, or adding a garden shed, things like that are actually good for the environment up here in Tahoe."

That's because in the process of remodeling, there are often environmental upgrades that go accompany it. Going forward, Cowen says residents will just need their Best Management Practices certification, which, for many small projects, is often issued on the local level.