Highlights From The Legislative Committee Review of TRPA

January 23, 2024

The following is a recap of the Legislative Committee for the review and oversight of TRPA. The presentation made to the committee by Washoe County’s Commissioner Alexis Hill and Government Affairs Liaison Cadence Matijevich may be viewed using the link below:

https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00324/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20240123/-1/?fk=13534&viewmode=1

Lake Tahoe Facilities and Services

• WCSO Substation: Patrol, Search and Rescue, Civil process Services, Work Cards, Fingerprinting, Concealed Weapons Permits, Dog Licenses and Marine-9

• Library

• Community Center

• Justice Court

• Election vote centers

• Public Works – Road and Stormwater maintenance

                                        72 lane miles of roadways maintained

                                        Maintenance of paved pathway system

                                        8 fulltime employees + 4-5 seasonal to remove snow

                                        Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) lake clarity challenge

                                        Facilities construction, operation, and maintenance to return

                                        lake clarity to pre-1970 level

Community Profile – Land use

• 9402 Total Assessor’s Parcels

• 131 Parcels with Partial Property tax exemption

• 1258 parcels fully exempt from property taxes

• $7,811,966,272 Total Taxable Assessed Value (land and improvements)

• $7,500,325,942 Table assessed Value net of exemptions (land and improvements)

• 7504 Total parcels designated as Residential

• 4770 Total Residential parcels assigned Low Cap Abatement status

• 2,734 total Residential parcels assigned High Cap Abatement status

• 655 STR permits (93% of all STRs in Unincorporated WC)

This helps indicate how many residences are occupied full time vs part time vs available for rental on a semi-permanent basis.

WC Current Priorities in Lake Tahoe Basin

Washoe Tahoe Transportation Plan:

Initiated early 2022 approved May 2023

Plan goals:

• Improve safety – main road is Hwy 28

• Expand connectivity, trails just end – you have to walk in the road or on the land

• Optimize mobility and parking – reduce visitor driving into the basin, and support commuters

• Strengthen community vitality – working with the Mainstreet program

Transportation Plan:

• Bus stop improvements – IV Mobility Hub, Placer Co. runs fixed bus routes

• Multiuse Path Connectivity

                                        Crystal Bay to IV Trail connection

                                        Sand Harbor to Spooner Lake Trail (East Shore)

• Winter multiuse path maintenance – equipment. “I hear from residents, you haven’t cleared the path yet.” “I would like to see WC do the roads and the paths in parallel because we have so many people who don’t drive.” (4:55:54) We have youth in the community… We don’t want people walking on the highways.”

Transit service and parking – We just have to fund it – TTD would like to make a presentation to this committee.

• State Route 28 intersection improvements – to slow the traffic

• Improve local intersection and roadway safety  

• Main Street program – IVCBA Mainstreet – bring recommendations

• Technology and data needs

Workforce Housing Study 2021

Potential Amenities

• Transit connections

• Heated transit shelter during winter months

• EV Charging stations

• Vehicle and bicycle parking

• Public gathering space

• Mixed use development:

                                     Affordable housing

                                    Retail/commercial

INCLINE VILLAGE MOBILITY HUB

Beginning at 4:57:17 of the video recording is the PowerPoint Presentation with Commissioner Hill expounding upon the bullet points as captured below.

Alexis Hill

This is one of many mobility hubs proposed throughout the Tahoe basin for both visitors and locals. We support a microtransit program. Right now in IVCB there is no place to park those 3 vans. We have them parked at the WCSO substation. We need a place for EV charging, vehicle parking. And we also need a public bathroom for people to go. So right now we’re using the Old Incline Elementary School that was sold to the TTD by the WCSD [and Assemblywoman Taylor was on the board at that time so you remember that all too well.] We are doing some discovery to see what is the best location for this mobility hub. We started a Mobility Hub committee and received a lot of input. Now it’s been brought back to the TTD board and we will be considering that input and bringing forward some proposals of different locations. We’re trying to see if we can work with UNR and some other partners. Because there are concerns the community has for that location as a permanent mobility hub. And trying to find the right use. The other great thing about that location is that it could possibly be a workforce housing location. I know that the chairman was asking about public properties for workforce housing. That’s also something the TTD board heard loud and clear from the community, and could be a potential partnership down the road. 

CRYSTAL BAY TO INCLINE VILLAGE TRAIL CONNECTION

• 3 mile shared use path from CB to Lakeshore Blvd (west)

 • Address safety, multimodal connectivity & traffic congestion concerns

• Serve growing demand as redevelopment brings more visitors and residents to Crystal Bay

• Connecting to California will distribute parking demand for trail access that occurs primarily in IV today

Hill

[When I lived in IV, I commuted on bikes from CB to Sand Harbor. It was dangerous.]

We received a grant to study what this trail would look like. This is a priority to support people who have to drive to IV, and people to walk, another opportunity for bicycles as well. It’s a major safety issue. It will also help with parking and trail access, because IV is getting inundated with that. I’m sure you’ll hear from the community on that. 

The other piece is the SAND HARBOR TO SPOONER SUMMIT TRAIL CONNECTION

• 8-mile shared use path from Sand Harbor to Hwy 50

• An unparalleled recreation experience.

• Safer bicycling and walking opportunities and to promote a healthier lifestyle

• An alternative to private car use, reducing environmental impact, improving air quality and lake clarity

Hill

Everyone who wants to get on the EST, and I don’t know if this committee has been on that trail yet, it’s a gem of the lake. But they are all coming into IV. So none of that traffic is actually being distributed throughout different parts of LT. So the community is feeling that in a real way. So we’d like to see that there are plans for a mobility hub at Spooner and to connect a trail from Spooner to Sand Harbor, so there’s less pressure on IVCB to carry all of the folks who are coming to our most-visited or 2nd most visited state park in NV.

There’s also parking planned. When you hear from the USFS you’ll hear how we are planning parking on some USFS properties to further distribute the parking and ensure there is safety. I know there have been some articles about public safety on Hwy 28. Folks want to get on the beaches. And there are kids running out. There’s barely a spot. If you can even call it a spot. We want to get rid of a lot of that shoulder parking, crate proper parking lots, and perhaps even incentivize people to use public transit to get into the basin.

I have a short video on Workforce Housing

Hill

That was the Washoe Tahoe Housing Partnership. It’s a partnership of our business leaders, our local community members, and Washoe County to see how we can support workforce housing in the community. We had a cool graphic but it wasn’t accessible to the new requirements of the State of NV so I will just walk you through this graphic.

• CURRENT AFFORDABILITY GAP

Annual                           Workforce                                                            Can afford                                          Current cost

Income                           type                                                                        per month                                         per month

$41,006                          retail, hospitality                                   $1,025                                               $1570 studio

                                        Administrative staff

                                        Journalists

$82,012                          General managers                                    $2,050                                                  $2626 1 bdrm

                                        1st line supervisors                  

                                        & entry level prof staff

$136,687                       High tech, med                                                     $3,417                                                      $5988 3 bdrm

-$205,030                     Professionals

                                        Frontline staff

Hill

Depending on what you make in IVCB you cannot afford to live there. If you’re in hospitality, you’ll pay $1570 just for a studio. If you’re a manager or supervisor, it’s the same thing: 2626 for a 1 bedroom. Then high tech, med profs, and staff can afford $3417 a month but the monthly cost of a 3 bedroom is $5988. It’s an issue in all major mountain communities. Certainly we’re feeling it in our portion of Washoe Tahoe.

• WASHOE TAHOE HOUSING PARTNERSHIP GOALS

• Community engagement and outreach

                                        Build community understanding and support for housing

• Finance

                                        Identify and raise public and private funds for housing

• Redevelopment and development properties

                                        Explore and facilitate inclusion of workforce housing on public agency owned sites and private land, and inclusion of workforce housing on future redevelopment projects.

• Policy                         

                                        Update development policies and codes to support preservation and production of workforce housing

Hill

Even though TRPA is the main guide of the Washoe Tahoe Area Plan, Washoe County has an opportunity to make changes within our own plan. So we will be conducting those policy changes to support workforce housing in the next year. There will be a lot of community engagement. So I’m really looking forward to making those changes on the Washoe County side.

• Programs

                                        Support programs to address workforce needs

Hill

I’m hoping we will be executing a contract with Placemat through Washoe County with our ARPA dollars. They give one-time funding to people who have STRs or people who barely use their house… we give them a cash incentive to improve their house or do what they want with their house, and then we support them with getting a workforce into the home. So, this is being used throughout the basin. WC is working on executing a contract with them. That’s one of many programs we’ll be looking to engage with.

I have some links to:

• RESOURCES AND REFERENCES

Washoe Tahoe Transportation Plan:

                                        Link to website to access full WT Transportation Plan

Trail Connections and Mobility Hub Information

                                        Link to TTD website for additional project information

Washoe Tahoe Partnership Roadmap

                                        Link to TPC website to access full WT Housing Partnership Roadmap

Washoe County Contacts:

Alexis Hill Comimssioner District 1

ahill@washoecounty.gov

Cadence Matijevich, Government Affairs Liaison

cmatijevich@washoecounty.gov

775 444-0015

QUESTIONS:

Titus

About the bike path and the whole problem with parking, was there no planning for where all the cars would park?

Hill

All of these projects are done piecemeal. There’s one vision about how it will all be connected. But it’s only as the funding comes in. The idea of Spooner… that is going to be another mobility hub. Working with RTC transportation I’m on that board, and I’m pushing for us to do a park and ride up to IVCB and incentivize people to not drive there. So there was the idea “we don’t need as much parking because we’ll have transit or they’ll park at Spooner.” But of course  these projects are just slowly coming on line. It’s just as the funding comes in. Long term, I think the vision is we’re going to get fewer vehicles on the road because we’re going to incentivize public transit. But it takes time and it’s a very difficult thing. “I’m like, why hasn’t anyone figured this out? And now that I’m in it, I know it’s because it’s very hard.” 

Titus

A quick question on the Old Elementary School that was closed. Are you having a drop in your student population that you would close the school?

Hill

The WCSD is looking at that for the Middle School. I can’t speak to that in detail. It’s not my realm. That is an issue I’m hearing. But we do have other private schools in the community and other private schools that are actually asking to open.

Daly

I’ll ask a question similar to the one I ask Douglas County about their Convention and Visitor Authority. I know RSCVA is a different deal and Washoe County is part of that. The major population on the Nevada side is all in Incline, excluding South Lake Tahoe, which is in California. So a similar question is: how do they view the development side vs. the environmental side? Or how much are they the same? Because they want to pull some of that away, or a majority of it away, or the significant resources that are generated in the basin into Reno-Sparks. So where are they at on that?

Hill

Well, that’s a great question. I sit on the RSCVA board, and we have asked RSCVA to give some additional money to microtransit. The board has approved our first Fiscal Year request. So I think we’ll be bringing another request to the RSCVA board. The need is so great. Right now you’ll hear this when the TTD comes to present to this committee. We don’t have a dedicated source of revenue for our public transit. With RTC it’s a gas tax and also our sales tax. There is an issue. We have not figured out a way to pay for transit. The need is a much greater than the $300,000+ that RSCVA gave us. We’re trying to pull together funding as a partnership. The issue is that the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority in Incline Village and Crystal Bay they receive only a small portion of the portion that is generated by our tourists to their Visitors Authority. So I think that there may be opportunities for the RSCVA to put a little bit more into Destination Stewardship long term, because that’s really what the focus needs to be for Tahoe. We’ve got the visitation. I don’t think we need to market Tahoe. We know Tahoe is a place people want to go to. The issue is managing the visitation and managing the impact of the visitation. So I think Washoe County put about $400,000 into microtransit this last year. I don’t know if my board will support that again. We need to find a funding source. So whether it’s tourism, whether it’s sales tax… there’s got to be a dedicated source of funding. The other issue is that our transit is free in Tahoe. I think that’s a discussion we need to have. In Reno and Sparks, you pay to take the bus. Not a lot, but you do pay. So is that something we need to look at? These are big questions and issues. I think it would be great if the RSCVA wanted to give a bit more to IVCB for all of our major needs including housing.

Daly

Understood. So you mentioned $300,000 that RSCVA put in for your deal, which was your request, how much is generated in the valley vs. what they’re putting in? Obviously, you don’t need to market the lake. I know the Biltmore is going to be doing renovations and opening more rooms.  And that’s already established, so there won’t be that great of an impact due to water modernization and various things; and they will limit their impact per the TRPA rules. And the same thing with Cal Neva coming back on line. There is going to be additional expansion, and more revenue. Is the RSCVA keeping it all down in Reno and spending it to get people to Reno-Sparks, which is not a bad thing? Are they making the proper or fair investment in the lake is the question. Take that message back that I asked that question.

Hill

Oh, I’m going to take it back. We have a meeting on Thursday. I think part of the Destination Stewardship committee that was created for Lake Tahoe—which I think Julie touched on—they are supporting in that way understanding that our locals and our visitors are making an impact at Lake Tahoe. I think that there’s opportunity to certainly do more and support additional cleanups at Lake Tahoe, and transit and housing. Will say I don’t know if there’s going to be more revenue generated. It will be interesting to see with the Cal Neva coming on line and the Biltmore redevelopment coming on line if there’s going to be more TOT tourism revenue coming in. Or whether people will move from STRs to going to hotels. Hopefully that use will decrease as well. It will be an interesting thing to see. We’re really in a transition time right now. But I will take that back. Thank you, Senator.

Daly

I think you’re going to see an increase, not a decrease or a shift. That’s just my prediction. We’ll see. Time will tell. You talk about funding for RTC and various things. In Washoe County… I sat on a blue-ribbon committee years ago trying to look at transit. It’s just a western thing. People don’t like it as much.

Reading the Compact, I know you can’t put a fee for entering the basin and various other things. I don’t know if you’d want some type of a toll anyway. But I think it was WC 5 many years ago, which put in the gas tax, which we have in Incline and Washoe County. But it’s for specific roads and various things. I don’t know if that’s an opportunity or not, because I know it was very specific when they passed that on what their ‘drivers’ were, and transit wasn’t part of it. When you tried to pass a separate measure for transit, it failed. We wanted .25% on sales tax, or even less than that—and it didn’t pass. So we do have to get past those humps—maybe another ballot question that’s just for basin transportation. I know you had a couple of other ideas we’d find worth exploring if it takes some kind of legislation.

Hill

Thank you. That’s great.

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