Court Upholds Lake Tahoe Regional Plan

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV— A federal court today ruled in favor of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), affirming an update to the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan that took years to craft, according to the Agency.

The lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore in February 2013 following nearly a decade of public input to update the plan originally adopted in 1987.

lake_rocks“This encouraging decision could not have come at a more critical time for Lake Tahoe,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said. “The pace of environmental restoration will accelerate under the new plan with more opportunities for healthy, sustainable communities.”

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez was based on the facts in the record used by the TRPA Governing Board to make its decision on the plan in December 2012. The court upheld the Agency’s discretion to make policy decisions based on sound science and a complete record.

Following the Regional Plan’s adoption, state and local leaders hailed the milestone as the next environmental leap forward for Tahoe. The Plan also won three separate awards for environmental innovation from professional planning and architecture organizations in 2013.

Innovative aspects of the plan include:

  • Using cutting-edge transfer of development rights policies to shrink the development footprint around Lake Tahoe thus reducing automobile reliance and increasing the feasibility of walking, biking and transit use.
  • Providing incentives for the protection or restoration of additional environmentally sensitive lands and continuing landmark growth management policies.
  • Including greenhouse gas reduction and other air quality programs designed to eliminate 10,000 vehicle miles traveled in the Region annually.

DOWNLOAD Judge’s Order Granting Defendant Win

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, call Jeff Cowen at (775) 589-5278 or email him at