New plan for Douglas County's South Shore is hoped to spark redevelopment

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New plan for Douglas County's South Shore is hoped to spark redevelopment

Douglas County is moving toward adopting a new area plan for Lake Tahoe's South Shore. KUNR's Will Stone reports the county is set to decide on it Thursday.

The new plan is supposed to encourage environmental redevelopment of older
properties, improve water quality and remove some of the hurdles for residents who want to make small scale changes. Currently, those folks have to go through the large bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) to, say, build a deck.

Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky says that was inefficient and discouraged people from making necessary improvements.

But, if the new plan is approved, those decisions will now go to the County instead.

"It's often said that the government closest to the people, governs best."

Mokrohisky says TRPA will focus its energies on setting regulations and permitting for larger projects like the Edgewood Lodge or the aging Horizon Casino. It's not as though TRPA won't be a part of local developments anymore. Mokrohisky says it's just shifting responsibilities. He says the local plan and TRPA's are tied together, and both are good for the environmental and economic health of the region, which revolves around redevelopment.

"The vast majority of the opportunity here is in redeveloping what is already built. Many of these structures are thirty or forty years old and may have had limited investment by private property owners because of the regulatory environment that's existed at TRPA for so long."

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners will decide on the plan Thursday, after which TRPA will also need to sign off on it.