The former executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has died. 

Bill Morgan was executive director from April 1, 1985 to September 30, 1989. 

The Governing Board adopted the 1984 Regional Plan, which then ultimately led to the passage of the more well-known 1987 Regional Plan. The TRPA says Morgan played an important part in the time between the adopted plans. 

The TRPA says the hearings leading to the adoption of the 1984 plan revealed disagreements between California and Nevada and between development and environmental interests. The day after the 1984 plan was approved by the TRPA Governing Board, the State of California and the League to Save Lake Tahoe filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to void the plan and stop all development in the basin until, in their view, a proper plan could be adopted. A federal judge agreed and ordered a development moratorium at the Lake.  

The TRPA says Nevada believed California had overstepped its bounds by, in effect, transferring TRPA’s powers to the federal court. The agency says Nevada had threatened to withdraw from the Bi-State Compact. It says at that point local governments were concerned about lost tax revenue from new development. California and the environmental groups believed this was justified because the 1984 plan allowed too much development. 

The TRPA says as executive director, Morgan convened a consensus building workshop which included all the interests in the basin ranging from representatives of both states to representatives of major developers and environmental interests and realtor associations and The League of Woman Voters, both groups that had not been involved on a day-to-day basis. His stated goal was to come up with a Regional Plan by consensus.

The TRPA says ultimately in 1987, consensus was reached. The results were presented publicly through hearings and the Governing Board ultimately adopted the Regional Plan. 

Without Bill’s intellect, integrity, honesty and diligence, it would not have happened. This is accomplishment enough, but there is an even longer lasting legacy that is at the core of how TRPA operates today. That is collaboration. As our Governing Board’s recent strategic planning retreat demonstrates, all TRPA initiatives today are underpinned by partnering with the interested parties to work toward the common goal of achieving the environmental thresholds. Bill set the path forward. He will be missed.      

(The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency contributed to this report.)