Federal appeals court sides with conservation group over Tahoe Sierra Colina project
A Lake Tahoe conservation group has prevailed in its appeal of a court ruling over a major development at the lake.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the League to Save Lake Tahoe on Thursday in an ongoing legal battle against the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency over its approval of the Sierra Colina project on Tahoe’s South Shore.
The appeals court remanded the case back to the court of U.S. District Judge Robert Jones, who dismissed the case in August 2011. The league sued TRPA in August 2009, alleging the agency inadequately gauged the environmental impacts of the project when it approved the 50-unit residential development two months earlier.
The league’s arguments centered on an access road serving the 18-acre development and concerns the road illegally added paved “coverage” to the alpine landscape.
The 9th Circuit’s ruling enforces needed environmental protections for Tahoe, said Darcie Goodman-Collins, the league’s executive director.
“We are gratified that the court has endorsed existing protections on road building and removed the possibility of a precedent-setting relaxation of those protections,” Goodman-Collins said in ...