Why is the TRPA so important in Lake Tahoe?

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is a local bi-state government agency concerned with the preservation of Lake Tahoe.  Maintaining the lake’s clarity and ecosystem is a big deal.  It’s one of the many reasons Tahoe is such a great place to live.  The TRPA is tasked with providing permits and the regulation of all properties within the Lake Tahoe watershed.  This means they have a lot to do with the decisions for building new properties or adding onto existing ones.


BMPs:  When buying your Lake Tahoe home you will want to know if your home has a BMP or Best Management Practices Certification.  BMPs relate to the way storm water runs off your property. By installing BMPs, all property owners can help slow or reverse the loss of Lake Tahoe’s clarity. BMPs prescribed for residential properties may include paving dirt driveways, protecting the soil under drip lines of roofs by installing drain rock, stabilizing or retaining steep slopes and loose soils and vegetating and mulching bare soils.


Land Coverage: This is one of the most important parts of buying a property in Lake Tahoe if you are considering doing any type of building on your property.  Each property is allowed a certain percentage of land coverage.  The amount of land coverage you are allowed to have on your property is determined by your soil type through an assessment given by the TRPA or an Individual Parcel Evaluation System score or IPES.  Every man made structure on a property is considered land coverage by the TRPA.  This includes decks, homes, driveways, storage sheds and anything else that covers the natural ground.  Most sellers won’t know if they have extra coverage to build on, unless they have a site assessment on file.


For more info about BMPs go to http://www.tahoebmp.org/, and for land coverage go to http://www.trpa.org/permitting/land-coverage/

Leave a Reply