2/2/16 Dream Home


In 2007, the Angora wildfire destroyed more than 300 homes and businesses near California’s Lake Tahoe.

One of the 240 homes destroyed sat for 30 years at 889 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.  It was in a residentially-zoned area.  It was nestled among homes on a paved street with concrete curbs.  The property had electricity, water, sewage and telephone hook-ups.

The location was perfect for Ray and Theresa Burns.  In 2009, they bought the lot in a foreclosure auction. They planned to build a dream home for their family.  And their two elderly, disabled mothers.

The Burns worked with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency before the purchase. Of course, you can rebuild a home on the lot, the TRPA told them.

The couple consulted with the agency and other local authorities on the building plans. They spent 1400-dollars to buy a lot allocation, as required by local ordinance. They were going to build an environmentally-conscious green home on the previous home’s footprint.

But shortly before construction began, TRPA had a change of heart.  Vegetation that grew where a home once stood and a nearby stream convinced these bureaucrats this was protected lot.  It was placed off-limits for development.

The TRPA’s actions don’t pass the common-sense test.

More than that.  Their prohibition runs counter to Supreme Court precedence and is in violation of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

The Burns are suing the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
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