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Lake Tahoe, CA/NV, August 3, 2021 –Updated rules to encourage more affordable housing options for Tahoe residents and workers have been unanimously approved by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board, the agency said today.

The approval significantly expands the number of properties in the Tahoe Basin that can add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and provides further incentives if the ADU is restricted to affordable rates and located near transit or a town center, which reduces vehicle use. With the approval, single-family residential parcels of any size can apply to add or create an ADU, among other changes. The previous rule only allowed ADUs on parcels of 1-acre or more. The amendments maintain the 1-acre size limit in the Washoe County and Douglas County portions of the basin, which is consistent with local jurisdiction rules.

Under the new regional rules and under California state law, new ADUs can only be rented for 30 days or more, which addresses concerns that new home apartments or mother-in-law units could be used for short-term rentals. Around the nation, accessory dwelling units are being encouraged as one solution to increasing the supply of workforce housing.

“Lake Tahoe’s sustainability relies on a healthy environment and strong communities and the housing crisis is hurting everyone,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said. “These amendments are an important part of a larger, collaborative initiative to solve housing problems in the Lake Tahoe Region. This is a good first step and we will continue to partner with local jurisdictions and housing partners to meet local and regional housing needs.”

Other amendments approved by the TRPA Board allow motel units being redeveloped to change from tourist accommodation use to residential use. Currently, in some cases, this type of redevelopment is limited to tourist accommodation only.

These initial amendments were developed with input from the Tahoe Living Workforce Housing and Community Revitalization Working Group, an advisory group of non-profit, social service, environmental, real estate and local government representatives. The working group will continue to develop recommendations that further incentivize affordable and workforce units.

The new rules take effect 60 days after the July 29th approval and the application process is under development. More information is available at trpa.gov/adus/.The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment.