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 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

Wildfire Home Preparedness Tips (Part Two)

Fire safe houses

Fire safe houses

Earlier this month we started to provide you with some of the best tips to prepare your home for fire season and keep it safe from embers and flames all year long.  It was a popular post.  So much so, our team at Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe and Incline Village decided to continue the theme on your behalf.

Before we dive in, we want to thank the professional educators at the University of Nevada Extension for providing this excellent information.

Vents

Embers are enemies of vents in homes that often lead to open spaces with your roofing or attic.  Here are some tips to follow:

  • Avoid storing anything combustible in your attic re: cardboard boxes, leftover construction, newspapers
  • Inspect those vents before fire season; check the screens and seals
  • Consider replacing vents with ember-resistant options

Home Siding

As designers and architects of mountain homes in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and the Truckee region, we always recommend only the safest and most secure materials for your home.  This section outlines options siding.

First and foremost, it is NOT recommended to use fire-retardant coatings like fire-retardant paint.  What you want to use is non-combustible products like stucco, steel and fiber cement siding options.

Our team at Borelli Architecture in Washoe County, we also recommend the use of a one-hour wall design with a fire-resistant zone.

Skylights

In as much as skylights offer natural light throughout the house, they can be the entry for embers and flames if the covers are not sealed well.  If you want them designed into your home, we suggest the flat-style v/s domed design. Metal is the only choice in our minds as the plastic style will melt and burn upon contact.

Many skylights are designed to open to bring in the fresh Sierra air.  If a wildfire comes unexpectedly, you might not have time to close them.  Stay ahead and prepare those windows with 1/16 inch non-combustible corrosion-resistant-metal mesh screening.

Window

Now that we have addressed skylights, let’s take a look at windows.  To reduce the vulnerability, look at these tips for the best options for fire-prone regions.

  • Chose multi-pane openings containing tempered glass
  • It does hurt to also invest in non-combustible shutters to provide extra protection.
  • Purchase windows that have screens as they serve as additional ‘guards’ for flying embers.

Fences

This is a pretty obvious one, yet we did not want to leave this section out of our tips to prevent a home from wildfire.  If your fence is made of combustible material, replace it completely.  Or at least replace the combustible section closest to the home with metal or non-combustible options.

And, as pretty as it is to have ivy or flowering vines growing on your fence, the experts at UNR Extension suggest that you opt not to do this.

We want to take this time to thank the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, College of Agriculture for proving this information to you.  For more insight about how to prepare and keep your home safe from fire, visit www.unr.edu/avrs.

 

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

 

The Value of Skilled Trade Workers

Trade Skills

Trade Skills

Over the past two years, the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region have experienced tremendous growth.  Whether the increase in population has evolved over all the new resort developments or second homeowners choosing to make their vacation house a prominent home, the end result has impacted the construction business dramatically.

At our architecture firm in Lake Tahoe and Truckee, we are seeing lots of new trends; some are good, some not so good.

The good news is that there is more revenue streaming into our local business.  Our hardware stores, lumber yards and concrete operations are running full steam ahead to keep pace with the demand.  On the flip side, the lack of skilled trade workers is slowing down the pace, dramatically.

Thus the theme of our blog today ~ “The Value of Skilled Trade Worker”

Throughout the Reno/Lake Tahoe region, there are several colleges that offer an impressive list of classes and degrees for skilled trade. For those seeking a first-time career, or looking for a change of pace, maybe it’s time to register for some summer or fall classes now.

You can make a great living, and fulfill a huge need right here in the Tahoe basin and surrounding Reno and Carson City regions.  The list is as impressive as the money that one makes when he or she is educated and certified in any of the trade skills noted below.

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters
  • Backhoe and other construction equipment operators
  • Electrical repairmen
  • Riggers
  • Machinists
  • Tool and die makers
  • Welders
  • Carpenters
  • Forklift handlers, including large capacity forklifts
  • Tile and marble setters
  • Cement masons and finishers
  • Painters
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Structural iron and steelworkers
  • Plasterers
  • Crane and tower operators
  • Dump truck operators

The closest campus (which offers virtual classes, too) is Western Nevada College.  Within their Class Schedule, you can find a wide variety of trade-oriented classes.  In addition, if you prefer to work on your own, their list of business and marketing courses can complement your skills and services as a freelance trade specialist.

If you have more of a creative mindset, be sure to check out their classes in Drafting, Architecture, and Design.  All of which are ideal if you would rather design a home than building one from the ground, up.

Our entire team at Borelli Architecture firm in Nevada encourages you to take a good look at the value of a trade skill.  You can take it anywhere and put some money away to build your own home, too!

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

Lake Tahoe Forests

 

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

 

How to Make A Family Emergency Preparedness Plan

Emergency Preparedness Resources

 

Emergency Preparedness Resources

Over the past few years, the Lake Tahoe region has experienced some of the most devastating forest fires.  With summer around the corner, our team at Borelli Architecture in Incline Village researched ideas on what you can do in advance to prepare you, your home, and your family ahead of time.

Thanks to the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, there is a wealth of information online.  Throughout our next few News articles, we are going to share some of their most valuable resources.

This first Edition comes from their Emergency Preparedness Brochure, General Emergency Preparedness section.

GET INFORMED & MAKE A FAMILY PLAN

In our area, we have the potential for disasters caused by earthquakes, wildland fires, and weather-related emergencies. Take time to plan for the problems related to each type of disaster.

If you have pets, make a pet plan. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters due to health regulations.

Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons in your home or neighborhood.

Ask about disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center, and other places where your family spends time.

MAKE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN

Meet with household members — Explain the dangers to children and your emergency plans. Work with them as a team to prepare your family to deal with emergencies.

Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.

Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.

Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at your home.

Decide where to meet — In the event of an emergency, you may become
separated from family members. Choose a place right outside your home in case
of a sudden emergency, like a fire. Choose a location outside your neighborhood
in case you cannot return home.

Choose an “Out-of-Town” contact — Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be
your contact in the event of a disaster. Everyone must know the contact’s phone
number. It is often easier to make a long-distance phone call than a local call from
a disaster area. Teach children how to make long-distance telephone calls.

Complete a family communications plan – Your plan should include contact
information for family members, work, and school.

In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate very quickly. Be ready to get out fast. Be sure everyone in your family
knows the best escape routes out of your home as well as where the safe places are in your home for each type of disaster. Draw a Home Family Escape Plan with your family outlining two escape routes from each room.

Schools will soon be closing for the summer, which makes now an ideal time to set aside time to make your own family emergency plans. We encourage you to do so, soon, and wish you a safe and memorable summer to come.

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

 

Things to Do on the 4th of July in Lake Tahoe

4th of July in Tahoe

4th of July in Tahoe

With everyone planning their 4th of July festivities, our architect firm in Incline Village is exciting to share what our community has in store for you and yours.  Below is a complete review of where and what to do on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore during this celebrated holiday.

The community of Incline Village, Nevada, on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, will host its annual “Local Heroes 4th of July Celebration,” July 2 – 4, 2022.

Local Heroes is the annual theme for the 4th of July celebration. A calendar and complete details can be viewed at 4thofjulytahoe.com.

The festivities begin on July 2 with a Pancake Breakfast, followed by a Parade and Community Fair. Veterans will be honored at several events on July 3 and 4. The weekend highlight is the new Incline Village Crystal Bay SkyShow, a drone show that replaces the 4th of July fireworks in a safe and environmentally conscientious way.

The free North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Flag Raising and Pancake Breakfast begin the Celebration on July 2. Both events will be held at Station 11 on Tanager Street.

Following those festivities is the Local Heroes Parade which starts on Southwood Drive and ends at the Village Green on Incline Way. Organized by Incline Village Crystal Bay Community and Business Association (IVCBA) and the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline, the Local Heroes Parade celebrates our veterans, active military personnel, and our hometown community heroes. The Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) Kids Bike Parade will start the procession, followed by floats, classic cars, and walking groups.

Al Banford, a seasoned veteran of the United States Navy, has been awarded the honor of being the 2022 Local Heroes Parade Marshal. Banford started the Radford Company, a full-service independent mortgage company in Incline Village, 43 years ago. Banford is a member of the IVCB Veterans Club and an advocate of veteran’s affairs.

The Community Fair starts directly after the parade on the Village Green. Local organizations will share community information, freebies, and fun. Ryan Broliar and his Jambulance will entertain kids of all ages with interactive music.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Meet and Greet will be a highlight of the Community Fair with Sheriff Balaam and his team, emergency and SWOT vehicles, the Mounted Unit, and the K-9 Unit on-site during the festivities.

The Incline Village Crystal Bay Veterans Club will showcase numerous military and patriotic events to celebrate the birth of our nation during the Celebration. On July 4th, the Club will host their annual Pancake Breakfast that welcomes locals and visitors alike at Aspen Grove. An honorable Veteran’s Lunch follows that event.

The grand finale on July 4th is the Incline Village Crystal Bay SkyShow at Incline Middle School ballfields. This spectacular drone show is a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to fireworks.

Additional funding is needed to support this new initiative. Tax-deductible donations can be made through the organizer’s website at www.ivcbskyshow.org.

No matter where you go or what you do, we hope you enjoy the all-American activities throughout the community in which we are proud to call home for over 30 years.

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

Below the Blue Keeps Tahoe Clean … for You!

Lake Tahoe North Shore

Lake Tahoe North Shore

Throughout the great Lake Tahoe Basin, there are endless ways to enjoy the pristine waters that make our lake so famous.  But what about the Lake bottom?

Thanks to the efforts of “Below the Blue” the debris that flys off boats or are tossed into the lake does not exist like it used to.

This past week there was an excellent press release from the Tahoe Regional Planning agencies about “Below the Blue’s” efforts to clean up the lake, from its lakebed.  Here are some highlights that we thought you would enjoy reading today as posted on CarsonNow.com.

Monique Rydel-Fortner and Seth Jones have seen more of what lies underwater at Lake Tahoe than most. Unfortunately, that includes trash and lots of it — from drones, car batteries and sunken boats, to plate glass windows and enormous sheets of metal siding.

For more than a decade, the SCUBA divers and co-founders of the Tahoe-based nonprofit Below the Blue have removed more than 100,000 pounds of foreign objects from the Lake. Over countless dives, one source of submarine trash stands out as persistent but preventable — debris from shoreline building projects.

In cooperation with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the underwater environmentalists are working to stop the illicit practice of using Lake Tahoe as a construction site dumpster.

As noted by the co-founder of Below the Blue, Seth Jones said: “Out of sight is not out of mind.”

And our architect firm in Lake Tahoe completely agrees.

Sure, we have probably dropped our sunglasses off a pier yet to see the junk that they collect on an annual basis is just makes you think: “What were they thinking?”

Unloaded any unwanted items into the Lake is not only ‘not right,” it’s illegal.  Steve Sweet, who is the Compliance Code Program Manager at TRPA said it best:

“Discarding material of any kind in Lake Tahoe is illegal and violates the high standard of environmental stewardship in this community. Strengthening the requirements for shoreline construction permits will eliminate these careless and environmentally harmful practices to better protect Lake Tahoe.”

With Earth Day around the corner, we encourage you all to get involved in the variety of initiatives underway to keep Tahoe blue this year, and in years to come.   Click into South Tahoe Earth Day to learn more about where and when you can chip in to help in a small or significant way.

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 TRPA Forestry Efforts Give Hope to Healthier Habitats to Come

Hiking in Lake Tahoe

Hiking in Lake Tahoe

With memories of a summer filled with smokey skies and raging fires, residents throughout Lake Tahoe are fully-focused on efforts to keep summers like last year in the past and never to return.

Recently, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPS) Governing Board approved new policies to expedite forest revitalization programs throughout the High Sierra.  In a recent press release, they announced their plans – with the most aggressive change focusing on the change in policies about ‘ground-based’ mechanical equipment (bulldozers, etc.).  As the story noted:

The decision expands the areas where ground-based mechanical equipment can be used on steep slopes. The new policy will promote forest and ecosystem resilience to disturbances such as climate change, the agency said today.

Steep terrain can be more difficult and resource-intensive for land managers to reduce hazardous forest fuels. Prior to the update, Lake Tahoe agencies could use ground-based mechanical equipment on slopes up to a 30 percent gradient, while work on steeper slopes was limited to hand crews, pile burning, and aerial logging to protect water quality from potential erosion.

TRPA Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said, “The Caldor Fire and the surge of megafires in the region are clear directives for us to improve our forest health policies to better protect communities and the environment from wildfire. TRPA is committed to advancing science-based practices that protect the lake and bolster our resilience to ever-growing wildfire threats, especially given the need for fuels reduction work in untreated areas narrowly missed by the Caldor Fire.”

In previous years, in fact in decards, machinery was not allowed on ANY slope over 30%.  This long-standing directive dates back to our own experience here in Incline Village when the former Ski Incline transformed its resort and doubled its terrain back in 1987.  During that year, the expansion (now known as Diamond Peak) was literally built by hand.  And for those of you who have skied the upper mountain, you can only imagine how the crews had to dig the holes for the lift towers, remove vegetation, and build structures at the top of the Peak.

The story adds another visual to the challenge at hand:

The policy change will facilitate additional forest health projects on steeper slopes. Approximately 61,000 acres in the Tahoe Basin have slopes from 30 to 50 percent, and nearly half of that area is in wildland-urban interface defense and threat zones near communities where hand crews continue to work. Additionally, post-fire assessments of the Caldor Fire show that steeper slopes tended to burn at higher severity than other areas.

“This is a game-changer for fuels reduction in the basin,” Chief Scott Lindgren of Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District said. “Hilly terrain is a significant portion of the Tahoe Basin and with the right kind of equipment, we can do quality fuel reduction work and protect the environment at the same time.”

Our team at Borelli Architecture applauds the TRPA and all who are focused on a healthier, safer, future for the entire region.  If you are interested in learning more about their year-round efforts to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278 or jcowen@trpa.gov.

If you would like a personal insight about the TRPA, securing building permits in Tahoe, and other key initiatives that are key to starting to build a home in the Tahoe basin Feel free to reach out to our architect firm in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Reno region.

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