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

 

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

 

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

 

Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving Tips

With all the recent snowfall, we continue to encourage our friends and family to be cautious as they come and go to enjoy the grandeur of Lake Tahoe. Whether you have lived in the Tahoe Basin for a long time or are new to the High Sierra, it’s always a good thing to refresh yourself about how to drive through safely in and around our mountainous roads.

For a fresh look at the best advice, we dove into the Nevada Department of Transportation’s website. We found this informative list in their numerous stories about traffic safety, road conditions and webcams for roads in Nevada, and construction updates.

Before you head out to the slopes or trails, or just head to the local stores to stock up on supplies, we encourage you to review this list from NDOT’s news section:

Winter Driving Safety Tips (courtesy of the Nevada Department of Transportation)

 Winter driving safety tips are available at dot.nv.gov/winter.

  • Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to help avoid snowy/icy areas and steep hills.
  • Before driving, check weather and road conditions by dialing 511 within Nevada (or 1-877-NV-ROADS outside of Nevada) or logging on to www.nvroads.com.
  • Share your travel itinerary so others know when to expect you.
  • Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates.
  • Buckle up.
  • Turn on headlights to see and be seen.
  • Do not rely solely on GPS to find alternate routes, as it could lead to unmaintained roadways or hazardous areas.
  • Turn off cruise control.
  • Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
  • Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
  • Do not slam on the brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped (antilock braking system) vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles.
  • Always comply with all posted traction device requirements.
  • If your vehicle has snow tires, install and use them between October 1 and April 30.
  • Keep extra distance from other vehicles.
  • Watch carefully for snow removal equipment.
  • Do not pass without reasonable distance and sight clearance.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas- they may freeze first.
  • Maintain a high fuel level.
  • If the vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove the foot from the accelerator.
  • Be aware of black ice.
  • If parked or stuck in the snow, leave a window slightly cracked for ventilation and ensure the vehicle exhaust system is clear of snow.
    Check before you go:
    Tires    Brakes    Lights    Battery     Wipers    Defroster   Heater   Vehicle Fluid Levels
    Carry with you:
    Tire chains     Flashlight    Ice scraper    Snow shovel     First-aid supplies
    Extra clothes/gloves   Blanket     Flares    Non-perishable food/water

In the meantime, if you want more details about what it is like to live in the mountains or have thought about building a home in Truckee or Lake Tahoe, feel free to reach out at any time. Our family at Borelli Architecture has been living and working in the Sierra for over 30 years.

Happy New Year!

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

Examples of Homes with Remodeled Gas and Wood Stoves

Wood and Gas Stove Remodeling Tips

Every year at Borelli Architecture, we seem to have clients who seek our ideas on how to remodel their homes to upgrade their gas or wood stoves.   As this is a popular subject, and with winter already in full focus at Lake Tahoe, we decided to share some of the h0mes we have remodeled to include an upgraded wood and/or gas stove.

Below you will find a few examples.

Wood and Gas Stove Remodeling Tips

Wood Stove Upgrade, Remodeled Lakefront Home

In the far corner of this lakefront property, you will see a classic old wood stove that served its purpose for many years.  Within the larger photo, you can see what a beautiful difference a home remodel can make to the ambiance, as well as the value, of this Crystal Shores condominium in Incline Village, NV.  Our Borelli Architecture firm in Lake Tahoe worked with our clients to ensure their vision of a “living room with a mountain style” came to life.

To see additional photographs of this lakefront home remodel in Lake Tahoe, follow this link.

Gas Stove Remodel Ideas

Here is another fine example.  In the photo on the far left corner, you can see that there was no fireplace at all.  Through our architectural design services in Tahoe, we completely changed the ambiance of this home on Dee Court in Incline Village.  The gas fireplace is now a centerpiece of the Great Room which serves as the main gathering area for the family during the winter months, and all year long.

For more insight about the other rooms that we remodeled throughout this home in Incline Village, click on our website now.

Fireplace Remodeling Ideas

Above you will see one more example of what a simple home remodel can make when you include a cozy gas (or wood) fireplace.  The owners of this condominium in Incline Village selected this fireplace for two reasons:  warmth, and as an accent to their mountain-themed living room.

So where do you start to find the best selection of gas or wood stoves in Lake Tahoe?  First and foremost, we always encourage our clients to “Keep the money on the mountain” for whatever they are looking for.  When it comes to stoves?  Go see Randy at Woodstove Distributors on the main drag in Incline Village.

When you are ready to take a look at all the options that are out in the market for replacing your wood or gas stove, and thinking about a home remodel in Lake Tahoe, feel free to reach out to Borelli Architecture to get your vision underway.

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

Home Winter Preparation Tips

Winter Driving 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