Boulder Bay project manager Brian Helm discussed development in Lake Tahoe in the past. There was a huge burst of development in the 1940s, and then people started to realize this was causing degradation to the Lake, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency was established. The TRPA created thresholds to protect the clarity and ecosystem of Lake Tahoe.
Boulder Bay will be developed in Crystal Bay, NV on the north shore of Lake Tahoe at the current location of the Tahoe Biltmore Casino. Helm feels redevelopment will be better than the existing site , as it addresses issues that were not dealt with in the past. The design will be mixed-use and mixed-design, focusing on pedestrian orientation to engage visitors. The proposed restoration will tear down old inefficient buildings and restore over 3 acres with impervious coverage. The existing structures are not very green friendly and create huge carbon footprints for each guest. The new design will have a 32% overall reduced carbon footprint.
Helm discussed the importance of collaboration with public-private projects:
- Nevada Utility Undergrounding
- Brockway Resedential Water Quality
- Creating a Sustainable Economy – mixed-use buildings will bring more groups for Mon-Thurs stays where current occupancy is mostly weekend visitors from Fri-Sun
After a question regarding TRPA standards, Helm noted that most of the TRPA plan was written in the 1980s – does not address the level of SmartGrowth and environmental standards that many environmental planners focus on today.
There was a question regarding community feelings regarding development in Lake Tahoe from a member of the audience who does not live in the area. Helm said in the beginning, feelings were about 50/50 regarding approval of development. After listening to community concerns, Boulder Bay made changes to the plan to address these issues which increased the support to about 80%.
How do you feel about development in a location like Lake Tahoe?