When you own an Incline Village home, “spring cleaning” can take on a whole new meaning. Sure, you’ve got closets to re-organize and piles of hidden clutter to KonMari like everyone. But, if your plans include landscaping, renovations, or ambitious remodels, spring cleaning will likely include paperwork and permits with the many agencies on a mission to protect Lake Tahoe’s environment.

Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got you. Here are the things you need to know about improving a home in Incline Village:

How County Regulations Impact Your Incline Village Home Remodel

Incline Village is one of Lake Tahoe’s most unique communities due to its multiple layers of government. Aside from state of Nevada oversight, home improvement projects must follow strict rules from the bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), in addition to codes from the Incline Village Improvement District (IVGID) and Washoe County.

Since Incline is an unincorporated community in Washoe County, obtaining a building permit carries extra steps and fees. For example, did you know per-square-foot construction costs are 15 percent higher in Incline Village due to its proximity to Lake Tahoe?

From navigating regional road impact fees to filling out proper forms, it’s imperative you follow the county’s various building permit requirements to ensure your Incline Village home upgrade is carried out responsibly. This includes studying up on project requirements — and understanding what kind of work isn’t allowed.

Incline Construction Projects and IVGID

Within the county, IVGID is the closest thing to a “town government” for Incline Village, which means extra layers of hyper-localized codes may impact building projects and renovations.

The district works with property owners to thoroughly review everything from water and sewer projects, to grease trap inspections, trash violations, and backflow improvements. Here are three important items to consider when planning your Incline Village home project:

Tahoe Bear Awareness and Your Incline Home

Meanwhile, portions of homeowners’ annual IVGID recreation fee fund conservation programs, such as Waste Not, which promotes sustainable living through innovative recycling and household waste services, water conservation, watershed management, and bear awareness education.

Increased human activity in recent years has unfortunately allowed Lake Tahoe’s black bear population to become habituated to human food and trash. Nevada laws stipulate that bears that are deemed a threat to the public are euthanized, not relocated.

Therefore, now is the best time to ensure your home’s bear boxes and other animal-resistant enclosures are sturdy and up to code before the weather warms, and your furry neighbors rise from hibernation. Go here to learn more about bear awareness and other spring preparation tips for your Incline Village home.

Understanding The TRPA Code of Ordinances

While IVGID and Washoe County laws are important, the TRPA is Lake Tahoe’s ultimate governmental gatekeeper. Its mission is to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the region.

TRPA accomplishes this through the TRPA Code of Ordinances, a massive 680-page document that covers land use, community and area planning, shore zone protections, commercial growth, and residential remodels and renovations.

For the latter, TRPA conducts rigorous environment reviews for qualifying home projects to ensure preserving Lake Tahoe water clarity is always at top of mind. While we don’t recommend prospective Incline Village homebuyers read all 680 pages, here’s a great breakdown that covers the basics of TRPA’s permitting process and its three main areas: exempt, qualified exempt, and standard.

TRPA Environmental Review and Permits

  • Exempt Activities: Examples include internal home remodeling, ordinary maintenance, fence construction, and environmentally appropriate tasks, such as dead tree removal and excavation projects that don’t impact the Lake Tahoe watershed.
  • Qualified Exempt Activities: Repairing existing residences, structure modifications required by a local government building code, and demolition of aging homes are among the projects exempt from TRPA review.
  • Standard Applications: Most residential projects and home upgrades fall here.

Unsure of where your home improvement project fits? Check out this helpful TRPA permitting FAQ page to learn more.

What To Know About TRPA Coverage, BMPs, and Incentives

One of the biggest elements of TRPA’s permitting process is land coverage, which includes all human-made structures, such as homes, driveways, and parking lots, as well as other “impervious surfaces” that prevent water infiltration and impede native vegetation growth.

So, what does this mean for your Incline Village home? Maintaining open space and limiting the amount of impervious surface in a watershed is a proven method for improving water quality, which is why extensive renovations must adhere to strict environmental practices.

This is where Best Management Practices come into play. BMPs are measures taken to minimize soil erosion and capture polluted water. By implementing BMPs, property owners can reduce the loss of Lake Tahoe’s clarity and protect against the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

To help Lake Tahoe homeowners, special incentives are available to those who install BMPs with water quality in mind; go here to find out if exemptions can be applied to your home improvement project.

2023 Tahoe Grading Season

The Lake Tahoe Basin grading season, which covers everything from small residential upgrades to full-scale road construction, runs from May 1 through October 15. Outside of grading season, construction sites must be winterized, and all soil-disturbing activities (such as excavating and backfilling) are prohibited outside of emergency situations.

TRPA exemptions of any kind are extremely difficult to obtain, which is why it’s imperative to check all the boxes on your spring-cleaning checklist in March and April to ensure your Incline Village home improvement project is ready for the May-October window.

Remember: While all these levels of oversight may seem like bureaucratic red tape, they are necessary to help homeowners protect the fragile Lake Tahoe watershed — and, that ultimately leads to increased home values, a win-win for everyone.

If want to learn more Incline Village home improvement projects and remodels, and you’d like to stay up to date on prices of Incline Village homes and selling real estate and living in Incline Crystal Bay, email info@dicksonrealty.com with the subject line, “Give me the Incline Village Inside Scoop!”

Whether you are buying or selling, Dickson Realty agents have the experience and innovative technology to help you. For more information, contact a neighborhood real estate expert at Dickson Realty today.