As buildings, roads, parking lots and other impervious surfaces cover the land in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the capacity of many watersheds to perform their natural function of treating nutrients before reaching water bodies is seriously impaired. In many locations, development has limited the infiltration of stormwater runoff, thus increasing its volume and velocity and, in turn, its erosive power and nutrient transport.
Fortunately, the capacity of some watersheds to tolerate these impacts can be improved through the removal of unneeded development, or the retirement of development potential from parcels that contribute to water quality problems or may in the future. These sites can then be rehabilitated, and their development rights transferred to less environmentally sensitive land. In addition, restoring land and retiring coverage in more environmentally sensitive areas can mitigate the impacts of existing parcels with an excess of impervious surfaces or of new developments.
On October 23, 1987, the Conservancy authorized staff to develop and implement a Land Coverage Program. As part of that action, the Board authorized pre-acquisition activities on parcels containing existing and potential coverage and authorized the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TRPA. This MOU allows the Conservancy to operate the Land Bank pursuant to TRPA’s rules and regulations.
Summary of Accomplishments
Over the last 23 years, the Conservancy’s program has:
- Assisted in the acquisition and/or restoration of more than 195 land coverage parcels involving over 235 acres of land
- Acquired over 2,500,000 square feet of land coverage
- Facilitated over 6,300 private and public projects through the sale or retirement of land coverage or other marketable rights
- Provided 925,000 square feet of land coverage mitigation (21 acres) for over 5,100 residential, commercial and public projects, generating over $5.0 million
- Sold through market sales more than 470,000 square feet of land coverage for over 780 projects, generating more than $3.4 million
- Sold marketable rights to over 90 projects, generating more than $800,000
- Generated over $11.5 million in total revenues, an amount equal to the sum spent to acquire land coverage parcels
- Facilitated the restoration of over 20 acres of land coverage on both coverage and non-coverage parcels
For more information on the Conservancy’s Land Coverage and Marketable Rights Programs, click on the links below.
The Conservancy's Coverage program has been designed to facilitate a number of natural resource objectives, assist the needs of project sponsors, and provide funding benefits.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in early 1988, the Conservancy is authorized to perform coverage reduction through its Land C...
The Land Bank Program has been designed to facilitate a number of natural resource objectives, assist the needs of the general public and environmental projects, and provide funding benefits.
An MOU signed with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) in early 1988, enables the Conservancy to sell rights from the Land Bank on the open market. ...
Land Coverage Prices & Forms