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Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Reg'l Planning Agency

ELR Citation: 17 ELR 20584
Nos. No. CV-R-84-257-ECR, 638 F. Supp. 126/(D. Nev., 06/06/1986) 1984 regional plan upheld

The court holds that the 1984 Regional Plan adopted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is a valid exercise of the TRPA's police power. The court first finds that plaintiffs' complaint was not barred by the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact's statute of limitations. The court next holds that the TRPA is not immune from plaintiffs' claims on the basis of legislative immunity, since the suit challenges the TRPA's enforcement of the Regional Plan. The court holds that plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies for their inverse condemnation claim. The Council neither presented the TRPA with its claims nor attempted alternative land uses allowed for much of the area's land under the Regional Plan. The court holds that the plan does not violate plaintiffs' equal protection rights. The plan's allowance of public, but not private building on environmentally sensitive lands is rationally related to the TRPA's concern that future circumstances may require construction of a public building in a particular area. Finally, the court holds that the Regional Plan furthers legitimate state interests and is thus a valid exercise of police power. Even substantial losses of landowners' property values do not necessarily invalidate a zoning regulation, particularly in light of the clear public interests served by the Compact's protection of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Lawrence L. Hoffman, Robert Damon Spitzer
Hoffman, Lien, Faccinto & Spitzer
Dollar Hill Professional Bldg., 3000 North Lake Blvd., P.O. Box 7740, Tahoe City CA 95730
(916) 583-8542

Counsel for Defendants
Maria Adams, Deputy Attorney General
Environmental Division
Heroes Memorial Bldg., Carson City NV 89710
(702) 885-4170