How to Ski for Free at Lake Tahoe

How to ski for free in Tahoe

How to ski for free in Tahoe

Really!  As residents of Lake Tahoe for over 30 years, we have heard it all … and this one is one we like to share.

In cooperation with TahoeFund.com, you can ski or ride for free with you order a Nevada or California License Plate.  The program is called Plates for Powder, and here’s the scoop as noted on the Tahoe Fund website:

Buy a Tahoe plate and ski or ride for free! Show off your love and support for Lake Tahoe by ordering your California or Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plate.

Those who purchase a new Tahoe plate in either California or Nevada before April 1, 2023 through the “Plates for Powder” program receive a free lift ticket to one of twelve participating Tahoe downhill or Nordic resorts, or a Tahoe City Sports Park season pass to be used during the 2022-23 winter season, while supplies last.

Over 96% of the funds from purchase and renewal fees for Lake Tahoe License plates are used to build, maintain and protect the trails, water quality, wildlife and forest health of the Lake Tahoe basin.

For a complete list of resorts, click in here:

To learn more about how you can order a Nevada or California plate to support this project visit TahoePlates.com.

  

To learn more about how your support helps keep Tahoe beautiful or to learn about specific conservationrecreation and watershed restoration projects, visit the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Nevada Division of State Lands.

In the meantime, if you want more details about the best secret spots to ski at Lake Tahoe, give me a call.  I’d be happy to share a few insider’s tips with you!

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

How to Safely Shovel Snow Off A Roof

how to safely clear snow from a roof

how to safely clear snow from a roof

With all the recent snowfall, our architectural firm at Lake Tahoe has been receiving calls about snow loads on our clients’ roofs.  Within that conversation, they ask how to safely remove the load – as there is more snow in the forecast this month.

Last year, we posted one of our most popular blogs about how we design mountain homes that meet the structural requirements for significant snowfall.  And within the blog, we offered immediate advice as to how one can know if there is too much snow on the roof, and how to safely remove the snow.  With the heavy snow that we received during Christmas and New Year’s, we thought we should share that advice again.

Here are the highlights of the story posed by the question “How do you know if you have too much snow on the roof?”

One cubic foot of fluffy, dry snow weighs about three pounds. The same amount of dense, wet snow can weigh as much as 21 pounds. While most roofs are built to withstand more than that, your roof may be under too much pressure if you see these signs:

  • Visible sagging along the roofline
  • Cracks in the ceiling or on the walls
  • Popping or creaking noises
  • Difficult-to-open doors and windows

As it melts excess snow can also lead to ice dams — melting snow refreezes and can damage your home’s interior under the eave line.

How to safely clear your roof

Keep the following in mind:

  • Hire a professional. A person who does this work regularly should know the best techniques and likely be insured.
  • Never work alone. Always have someone with you in case you slip or have an emergency.
  • Clear the area. The ladder up to your roof should be positioned on solid ground. Also, make sure the rungs are clear of ice and snow before you climb.
  • Secure yourself. If possible, use a strap or belt to anchor yourself to something strong, like a chimney.
  • Avoid shingle damage. Stay away from picks, hammers, or other sharp tools to clear snow and ice.
  • Use the right tools. If you have a one-story or flat-roofed house, invest in a snow rake. These long-handled tools with plastic blades can help you gently pull snow from the edge of the roof line.

Inasmuch as this is a good recap of how to get the job done, our team at Borelli Architecture suggests you seek professionals to get the job done.  Roofing companies and possibly professional tree removal companies would be a good place to start.  Here’s a link to the Better Business Bureau’s recommendations. 

In the meantime, if you want more details about how to build a structurally sound home in the mountains, feel free to reach out at any time.

Be safe out there!

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

Tahoe In Depth Publishes 10th Anniversary Edition

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Tahoe In Depth publication

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Tahoe In Depth publication

This past week, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency published the 10th Anniversary edition of Tahoe In Depth.  For over a decade, this publication has offered some of the most insightful details about what their organization is doing and has done to protect the Tahoe Basin.

In this special 10th anniversary issue, they cover the intersecting 10th anniversary of the 2012 Regional Plan Update, which was approved on 12.12.12, and take a look back at some outstanding stories from past issues.

New stories on mushroom foraging, epic philanthropy, Take Care Tahoe campaigns, and more round out the winter issue.

They are incredibly grateful to their many subscribers who continue to support Tahoe In Depth. Every little bit helps them to continue to share Lake Tahoe environmental news with you twice a year. If you aren’t a subscriber, consider becoming one this holiday season.

If you have plans to start to design and build a home within the Lake Tahoe Basin, it will take time and local expertise to get your permit.  Within our architect firm at Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, we offer a wide variety of services to help you get your permit sooner than later.  Among this list:

  • Personal Architectural Design Services in Lake Tahoe
  • Custom Interior Design
  • Site Planning
  • Space Planning
  • Permit Processing Assistance
  • TRPA Feasibility Studies
  • Contractor Selection and Bidding Assistance
  • Construction Administration Services

Time is of the essence as well as there are date restrictions as to when we can ‘move dirt’ or not.  Want to know more?  Please reach out to us at any time.  We have been working with all the local agencies for over 30 years and have the contacts and insight to get your dream home started in 2023.

Happy New Year to all,

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

What to Plant in the Fall in the High Elevation

What trees are best for high altitude

What trees are best for high altitude

Although our architectural services in Lake Tahoe and Truckee focus primarily on designing your home, we are often asked about the trees and plants that might be ideal to complement our home designs.  And as fall is now in full swing, now is the time to decide what trees and shrubs you might want to plant before the frost arrives.

To help you out, we researched the internet and found this great blog written by the professionals at the Outdoor Design Group out of Colorado. 

As their elevation is similar to ours, here are their recommendations for high-elevation trees that would be ideal for homes in and around the High Sierra.

Deciduous Trees

  • Quaking Aspen    Populus tremuloides
  • Canada Red Cherry    Prunus virginiana ‘Canada Red’
  • Russian Hawthorne    Crataegus ambigua
  • Ginnala Maple    Acer ginnala
  • Apple and Crabbaple    Malus (several types)
  • Alder    Alnus tenuifolia
  • Tartarian Maple    Acer tartaricum
  • Birch    Betula (several types)
  • Mountain Ash    Sorbus aucuparia
  • English Oak    Quercus robur

Evergreen Trees

  • Southwestern White Pine    Pinus strobiformis
  • Ponderosa Pine    Pinus ponderosa
  • Colorado Blue Spruce    Picea pungens
  • Douglas Fir    Pseudotsuga menziesii glauca
  • White Fir    Abies concolor
  • Limber Pine    Pinus flexilis
  • Bristlecone Pine    Pinus aristata

Deciduous Shrubs

  • Burning Bush    Euonymus ‘Turkstanica Nana’
  • Peking Cotoneaster    Cotoneaster lucidus
  • American Cranberry    Viburnum trilobum
  • Currant    Ribes (several types)
  • Lilac    Syringa (several types)
  • Potentilla    Potentilla (several types)
  • Siberean Peashrub    Caragana arborescens
  • Snowball Viburnum    Viburnum opulus
  • Rock Spirea    Holodiscus dumosus
  • Sumac    Rhus (several types)
  • Willow    Salix (several types)
  • Sand Sage    Artemesia filifolia
  • Serviceberry    Amelanchier (several types)
  • Barberry    Berberis (several types)

Evergreen Shrubs

  • Juniper    Juniperus (several types)
  • Mugo Pine    Pinus mugo
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce    Picea glauca
  • Blue Globe Spruce    Picea pungen ‘Globosa’
  • Weeping Norway Spruce    Picea abies ‘Pendula’
  • Yucca    Yucca (several types)
  • Euonymus    Euonymus (several types)

Ornamental Grasses

  • Blue Oat Grass    Helictotrichon sempervirens
  • Blue Fescue    Festuca glauca
  • Ravenna Grass    Erianthus ravennae

Perennials

  • Aster    Aster (several types)
  • Columbine     Aqueiegia
  • Blue Flax    Linum perenne
  • Snow in Summer    Cerastium tomentosum
  • Wild Strawberry    Waldsteninia ternata
  • Kinnikinnick    Actostaphylos uva-ursi
  • Painted Daisy    Tanacetum coccineum
  • Delphinium    Delphinium (several types)
  • Bleeding Heart    Dicentra spectabilis
  • Oregon Grape Holly    Mahonia repens
  • Yarrow    Achillea (several types)
  • Lupine    Lupinus (several types)
  • Sedum    Sedum (several types)
  • Black Eyed Susan    Rudbeckia fulgida
  • Windflower    Anemone canadensis
  • Serbia Iris    Iris sibirica

We hope this information helps you and your family prepare your yard for the years to come. And, if you ever need more insight into what it is like to live in the mountains or need a professional architect in Lake Tahoe to help build your mountain, lakefront, or golf resort home at Lake Tahoe, feel free to reach out at any time.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

Incline Village Curbside Chipping, Pine Needle Pickup, Deadlines Approaching

Tree Chipping Services in Lake Tahoe

Tree Chipping Services in Lake Tahoe

During the year, our team at Borelli Architecture in Incline Village likes to provide information about living in the mountains and tips to keep your home safe in your natural surroundings. During the fall season, Kelly and I make it a point to clean up our yard and prepare for the winter months to come.

Another bonus of living in the high-elevation wrapped within a forest setting is the free services we receive from various local agencies and organizations.

Read on to see the details about Incline Village Waste Management’s Yard Waste pick-up service and the North Lake Tahoe Protection District’s curbside chipping services.

Next, get your yard and piles in order.

  • Clean up all the fallen leaves and perhaps limbs or tree debris accumulated over the summer months.
  • Pine needles and clean yard waste should be placed in large trash bags; place your Waste Management stickers on each load and put them on the curb for pick-up (now through October 28). If you did not get your stickers from Waste Management, or have more questions, see all the details about Incline’s Yard Waste Management Program right here. 

Next, take advantage of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District FREE curbside chipping service if you have branches too big for your regular trash containers. Sign up on this form to make a request.

Then, prepare your curbside piles:

  • All branches The branch diameter cannot exceed 6 inches.
  • The pile must not contain stumps, roots, garbage, nails, lumber, or pine cones.
  • The pile must not exceed 30 feet in length, 6 feet in height, and 6 feet in width.

Repurpose the chips:

Once the chipping has been completed, they will be left right where you left your pile and are ideal for erosion control or natural landscaping. Do note that WHERE you place the clipping is essential as well. The NLTFPD suggests that you keep the chippings AT LEAST five feet away from your home or any structure.

Information on their website also noted that if you spread the chips within 30 feet of a structure, you should be sure they are separated by ‘noncombustible’ areas like rock, pathways, driveways, or dirt.

After you do all the hard work, take time to enjoy the fall season. It will be snowing before you know it!

We hope this information helps you and your family prepare and plan for the winter months. For more tips, visit the blog we posted last fall about Home Winter Preparation Tips. And, if you ever need more insight into what it is like to live in the mountains or need a professional architect in Lake Tahoe to help build your mountain, lakefront, or golf resort home at Lake Tahoe, feel free to reach out at any time.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

What is a Site Plan and Why Do You Need One?

Lakefront Home Designs

When you live in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, you have an innate ability to appreciate your surroundings and protect them as best as you can.  When working with our clients, we offer professional Site Plan services that enhance your property’s setting while abiding by the strict environmental regulations set by the counties around the Lake and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency – for all the right reasons.

We employ a proactive approach regarding communications with both regulatory officials and interested stakeholders in order to build consensus surrounding a project’s design and objectives. Applying our collective talents and experience, Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is here to design your dream home while ensuring we protect the environment that surrounds your investment.

When you work with the team at Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe and Carson City, Nevada, you will receive a visual presentation of your property that includes:

  • location of your home
  • location of other buildings (guest house, garden sheds)
  • terraces
  • extended features (outdoor kitchen, firepit)
  • playground

When completed, you will have a much better visual of the size and scale of your home as it relates to its orientation on your property.

Your site plan may be presented in different formats.

2D Site Plan  This is usually a simple overview that may be black and white or color coded.  It’s usually the first step in your home design which gives you an initial understanding of the layout of your home.

3D Site Plan  This option is more elaborate and includes a more defined full-color understanding of the structure of your home and its materials and colors, as well as some outdoor features (potential trees, etc.)

 3D Video Our team prefers this option and uses this technology to give our clients a much clearer understanding of your site plan, house plan, and environment in which it will be built.

For example, take a tour through our Borelli Architecture Video Models now.

If you have any questions at any time about our services to help you visualize your next home, please reach out at any time.

Jim Borelli - Borelli Architecture Lake Tahoe Carson City Truckee

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

How to Secure Permits to Build a Home in Lake Tahoe (Part Two)

TRPA Permit

TRPA Permit

Earlier this month we provided you with a list of possible applications and forms that may be critical to complete prior to and during the design and construction of a new home or during a major remodel to a home in Lake Tahoe.  That was the first part of this two part series that you need to know about before moving forward.

This section outlines what the TRPA lists as “General Forms” that may be required to complete if your construction project includes additions of home generators, removal of underground tanks, project extensions, significant grading, or if your home is located on the lake.

As a full-service architectural design firm in Lake Tahoe, Borelli Architecture certainly can assist in the process of securing the proper permits then review the details together with you and work with our peers at TRPA to move things forward.

Below is a complete list of applications that may be needed to finalize your building permit.

General Applications & Documents

Pre-Application Consultation Request @

Construction Schedule Extension @

Owner Authorization

Qualified Exempt Declaration @

Backup Generator Installation Guide

MOU Qualified Exempt Declaration @

Underground Tank Removal Application @

Project Impact Assessment Online Tool

Project Impact Assessment Guidelines

Project Impact Assessment Fact Sheet

Standard Conditions of Approval

Security Procedures (Attachment J)

Standard Conditions of Approval – Residential Driveway (Attachment P)

Standard Conditions of Approval – Grading (Attachment Q)

Standard Conditions of Approval – Residential Projects (Attachment R)

Standard Conditions of Approval – Shorezone Standards (Attachment S)

Standard Conditions of Approval – Underground Tank (Attachment U)

If you have any questions at any time about building, designing, or securing TRPA or county permits for your new home, please reach out at any time.

Jim Borelli - Borelli Architecture Lake Tahoe Carson City Truckee

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

How to Secure Permits to Build a Home in Lake Tahoe? (Part One)

TRPA Permit

 

If you have recently purchased land or a home in the Lake Tahoe basin and have plans to either build a home or do an extensive remodel, our team at Borelli Architecture based in Incline Village Lake Tahoe is here to help you move forward in planning for your future.  Throughout the last 30 years, we have been working closely with the agencies and counties that fall within the Lake Tahoe Basin area and have strict policies that must be followed.

As a full-service architectural design firm, we certainly can assist in designing the home of your dreams.  In addition, we have solid relationships with the individuals who review and approve the many permits that it takes to finalize a home in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and outlying Carson City and Truckee regions as well.

Below you will find a list from the TRPA website that will provide you with an overview of the various applications and forms that may be required to complete, submit, and receive approval before and during the permitting, home building and renovation processes.

Take a look at this list below.

Then, check back into our News section at Borelli Architecture at the end of this month to learn more about the permitting process to build or remodel a home within the High Sierra.

Single Family Dwelling Application @

Single Family Dwelling Findings

BMP Retrofit Permit Application @

BMP Small Retrofit Plan@

Driveway/Parking Area Paving Application @

Grading Project Application @

Land Coverage Exemptions for Residential Improvements

Backup Generator Installation Guide 

Multi-Family Dwelling Application @

Multi-Family Dwelling Project Findings

Qualified Exempt Declaration @

Scenic Protection Information

Wood Heater Retrofit Statement Form @

Construction Schedule Extension @

Historic Resource Determination @

If you have any questions, at any time about building, designing, or securing permits for your new home, please reach out at any time.

Jim Borelli - Borelli Architecture Lake Tahoe Carson City Truckee

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

New Lake Tahoe “Land Tender” Monitors Forest Health, Future

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Tahoe In Depth publication

 

Lake Tahoe Forests

Throughout the years, our architect firm at Lake Tahoe has enjoyed endless opportunities to enjoy our ‘down-time’ throughout the Basin and beyond.  Some of our favorite memories are hiking, biking, and exploring the endless forests that wrap in and around the High Sierra.  And within those years, we have learned to treasure every moment.

Fortunately for those of us who live, work, and play throughout the Sierra, there are many organizations watching over our ‘backyard’ with some of the world’s most innovative environmental technology.

Just last fall, the Tahoe Fund secured a grant from Smartest Forest Fund to purchase a new tool called Land Tender.  It is a cloud-based planning and monitoring tool this is now assessing the health of our forests throughout the Lake’s 500-square-mile watershed basin. The details acquired through Land Tender can then predict the need and timing for improving our forests’ health.

Remote sensing, machine learning and artificial intelligence also enable land managers to continuously monitor project progress, and then shift priorities and resources based on evolving conditions and threats.

This new state-of-the-art tracking system is in collaboration with an exceptional list of partners that includes Basin land managers, fire districts, the California Tahoe Conservancy and other key personnel.

In a recent press release within TahoeFund.org, we learned more about this project.

“The Caldor Fire made it into the Lake Tahoe Basin, and we narrowly averted catastrophe in part because of proactive fire prevention and forest health projects,” said Tahoe Fund CEO Amy Berry. “Land Tender is a unique tool that can help communities like ours dramatically speed up the timeline of critical forest management projects—some of which have previously taken up to 10 years to plan and execute. This is exactly the type of project we started our ‘Smartest Forest Fund’ to help accomplish.”

“We are facing concurrent climate, wildfire, biodiversity, water and health crises that cross jurisdictions and affect each and every one of us. Our future depends on how quickly we adapt, cooperate and take action. With Land Tender, we can harness the best science, technology and data to protect and restore forests. We can mitigate risk, quickly and at scale,” said Allison Wolff, CEO of Vibrant Planet, the creator of Land Tender. 

Land Tender was the first innovation of Vibrant Planet.  According to their website, their goal is to help planners and policymakers save lives, avoid trillions of dollars in infrastructure loss and restore the ability of natural systems to store carbo, deliver clean water, and support local economies and recreational habits.

Land Tender was designed with significant input from land managers, emergency responders, scientists,  and local and regional policy and decision-makers. It was built by a team of seasoned technology, ecology and forest management leaders with decades of collective experience at the U.S. Forest Service, Lyft, Netflix, Guidewire, Facebook, and Omidyar Network.

In closing, it is reassuring to know that some of the world’s most educated and experienced experts in land management care enough about our region to push their collative talents to keep our treasured region healthy and thriving in years to come. And we thank them for their efforts.

Jim Borelli - Borelli Architecture Lake Tahoe Carson City Truckee

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

Earth Day and Earth Week Activities at Lake Tahoe

As this month comes to a close we are encouraging our friends and family to get outside and get involved in the numerous Earth Day events throughout the Lake.

One of the region’s most focused and forthright agencies has taken the lead in creating activities and events for all ages.  The group is called Take Care Tahoe and they have an impressive list of things to do and see this week.  For more details, other than this list from their website, click into their site for ways to keep Tahoe Blue this week, and all year-round.

Mother Nature Monday …

  • Download the Tahoe Nature Activity Book for a month’s worth of nature activities
  • Join the dark sky movement and turn off outside lights at night to protect wildlife and save energy
  • Download the Citizen Science Tahoe app, to share your observations of Lake Tahoe with scientists to help researchers better understand conditions around the lake

What to Wear: Animal print or animal-themed shirt

Climate Action Tuesday

What to Wear: White for clean clouds

Clean Water Wednesday

  • Fill your reusable water bottle with Tahoe Tap and help eliminate microplastics from polluting our waterways
  • Pick up dog poop on your neighborhood walk to help protect water clarity
  • Take the Tahoe Keeper Quiz to learn how to clean, drain and dry your boat and gear to keep Aquatic Invasive Species out of Lake Tahoe
  • Complete Keep Tahoe Blue’s Preserve a Plant activity

What to Wear: Blue for clean water

Trash Free Thursday

What to Wear: Green for the Earth!

Healthy Forest Friday

What to Wear: Red to prevent wildfire

Sustainable Saturday

What to Wear: Colors of the rainbow

At Borelli Architecture in Incline Village and Lake Tahoe, we will be out and about supporting their efforts. And we encourage you to do the same.

 

Jim Borelli - Borelli Architecture Lake Tahoe Carson City Truckee

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060