Home Winter Preparation Tips

Winter Home Safety Tips for Lake Tahoe Homeowners

Winter Home Safety Tips for Lake Tahoe Homeowners

With three new feet of snow, and counting, at Lake Tahoe, now is the time to prep your home for the wet and white winter to come (unless you have done your chores before now)!  There’s lots of good information below that was published within the  Tahoe Daily Tribune and written by North Lake Tahoe Fire Prevention District’s Chief Ryan Sommers.

At our architect firm at Lake Tahoe, and based in Incline Village above 6,500′ we know all about preparing for what’s to come this winter.  That said, no matter where you live, these tips are good no matter where you live.  If you are here in the High Sierra, we encourage you to take the time to review the details now … in between shoveling this week? Next week? … We’ll see what comes our way!

The following content is courtesy of Ryan Sommers – as posted in the Tahoe Daily Tribune

Winter Home Safety Tips …

•Test and replace batteries. Check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year: when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Replace smoke alarm alkaline batteries at least once a year. Test alarms every month to ensure they work properly.

•Be prepared for cold weather. Prepare your home, car and have a winter weather checklist that includes emergency preparedness information for communication, making a plan and supplies kit. Register for CODE RED emergency alert notifications.

•Keep stairs and walking areas free of electrical cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazines, and other items

•Improve the lighting in and outside your home. Use nightlights or a flashlight to light the path between your bedroom and the bathroom. Turn on the lights before using the stairs. See an eye specialist once a year – better vision can help prevent falls.

•Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. Have grab bars installed on the wall next to the bathtub, shower, and toilet if needed. Wipe up spilled liquids immediately.

•Stairways should be well lit from both the top and the bottom. Have easy-to-grip handrails installed along the full length of both sides of the stairs.

•Be aware of uneven surfaces indoors and outdoors. If you must have scatter rugs, make sure they lay flat and do not slide when you step on them. Smooth out wrinkles and folds in carpeting. Be aware of uneven sidewalks and pavement outdoors. Ask a family member or friend to clear ice and snow from outside stairs and walkways and always use handrails if available. Step carefully.

•Wear sturdy, well-fitting low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles. They are safer than slippers, stocking feet, high heels, or thick soled athletic shoes

•Have heating equipment, chimney and stove inspected and cleaned by a certified HVAC technician and/or chimney sweep every fall just before heating season.

•Test your Smoke and CO alarms and replace batteries if needed. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions

•Allow ashes to COOL before disposing of them. Four days or 96 hours is the minimum recommended cooling period for ashes.

•Place completely cooled ashes in a covered metal container. Keep the container at least ten feet away from the home and other buildings. They should never be disposed of in a plastic garbage box or can, a cardboard box, or paper grocery bag. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes. The metal container should be placed away from anything flammable. It should not be placed next to a firewood pile, up against or in the garage, on or under a wood deck, or under a porch. After sitting for a week in the metal container, check them again to be sure that they are cool. If so, the ashes are then safe to dispose of in your trash. Ask your local Fire District if they have an Ash Can Program.

•As a safety precaution keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from a fireplace, wood stove, or any other heating appliance, and create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires. It is important to make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying, and never leave a fire unattended, particularly when children are present.

We hope this safety information helps you and your family to prepare and plan for whatever comes our way.  And, if you ever need advice on key features to include in the design of your mountain home, do reach out.

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

How To Get A Permit to Build A Boat Dock or Buoy Mooring in Lake Tahoe

This past year it seems like the world moved to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living and working throughout the High Sierra.  Within this ‘dream-like lifestyle,’ comes visions of working in the morning and heading out on the Lake for an afternoon of wake surfing or waterskiing.

As one who has lived here for over 30 years, and designed lakefront homes at Lake Tahoe, this lifestyle is real and very doable.

However, slipping out onto the crystal clear waters from your own boat dock doesn’t come easy for those who have purchased a Lakefront home and want to add a pier and/or buoy mooring just outside of one’s home office.  Living within the Lake Tahoe Watershed comes with from pretty stringent rules – all for good reasons – to keep the Lake as pristine as it is today.

To secure a permit to build a boat dock or get a mooring is like winning the lottery, yet can be done.

Within the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s website is a section that will help you to better understand the steps one must take to POSSIBLY secure a permit to build your dream dock.  Here are some highlights from their website.

All moorings including buoys, boat lifts, and boat slips are subject to annual registration fees paid through this system. New moorings require a TRPA permit and existing moorings must be registered and/or permitted through the Phase 1 process below.

Allocation of New Moorings

As part of the Shoreline Plan, TRPA may permit up to a maximum of 2,116 additional (new) moorings. Allowable moorings include buoys, boat lifts, and boat slips and are distributed through the following pools:

  • 1,486 private moorings (buoys or boat lifts)
  • 330 marina moorings (buoys or boat slips)
  • 300 public agency moorings (buoys or boat slips)

New mooring allocations will be released in accordance with TRPA Code of Ordinances 84.3.2.E.4: a maximum of fifteen (15) percent of the available moorings from each of the three pools can be allocated annually.

Eligibility Criteria

Private moorings

Single-family parcels:

  • Up to two moorings per parcel; existing moorings count towards maximum moorings allowed
  • Littoral – single-family parcel must adjoin or abut the high water elevation of Lake Tahoe
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs) Certificate – The littoral parcel must have a BMP Certificate of Completion prior to entering the mooring lottery. You can check the BMP compliance status on the TRPA Parcel Tracker. For more information on BMPs or to request assistance from TRPA’s Stormwater Management Program, please visit tahoebmp.org or call the BMP hotline at (775) 589-5202.

In addition, private moorings must comply with all eligibility, capacity, mitigation, development and location standards of TRPA Code of Ordinances Chapters 80-85, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Located outside a Stream-mouth Protection Zone
  • Boat lifts: one per parcel on an existing pier, up to four
  • Mooring buoys:
    • At least 50 feet from another mooring buoy (50-foot grid spacing for buoy fields)
    • At least 20 feet from adjacent littoral parcel projection line boundaries
    • Buoys not in buoy fields: No greater than 600 feet lakeward from elevation 6,220 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, as measured horizontally, or no farther lakeward than elevation 6,210 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, whichever is less
    • Buoy fields: No greater than 600 feet lakeward from elevation 6,220 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, as measured horizontally, and does not exceed the maximum buoy field size (derived from littoral HOA parcel dimensions)
On behalf of our team at our architect firm serving Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Carson City, NV, we are here to help you build the home of your dreams, be it on the lake, golf course, or high atop the High Sierra.

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