Members often ask how and where they can develop their lot at Tahoe Donner. There are various zoning rules from the Town of Truckee combined with Tahoe Donner Association governing documents that regulate where you can build on your lot, often called the “building setback” or “building envelope.”
Building setbacks exist for many reasons. They enhance street aesthetics, create privacy by preventing buildings being constructed too close to one another, and also prevent encroachments and snow from possibly shedding across property lines. Another reason for the setbacks is to provide easements for access, recreation, erosion control, and utilities so local power and water companies may gain access to infrastructure.
- Front Setback: Each lot includes an easement of snow storage by the Town of Truckee. These easements consist of a strip of land 20 feet wide at the front of each parcel and parallel to all roads (corner lots).
- Side Setbacks: A minimum 10 foot side setback running parallel from the side property lot lines.
- Rear Setback: Running parallel to the rear property lot line, a minimum rear setback is equal to 20 percent of the gross area of the lot or a minimum of 25 feet. The rear setback is intended to be preserved as a greenbelt area.
- Building Height: The maximum height for any structure or improvement shall be 35 feet measured from the building’s midpoint on the downslope.
- Maximum Lot Coverage: The maximum area to be surfaced including all buildings and paved areas is 35 percent of the total lot area.
- Utility Easements: Easements for installation and maintenance of utilities and drainage facilities are shown on the subdivision maps. These easements generally consist of 10 feet at the front of the Lot parallel to the road lines and five feet along and parallel to the rear and side lot lines if present. Within these easements, no structure, plantings or other material shall be placed or permitted to remain which may change or interfere with the installation and maintenance of utilities or which may damage, interfere or change the direction of flow of drainage facilities in the easements.
- Recreational Easements: Recreational easements are shown on the subdivision maps. These easements typically consist of a 10 foot strip of land along the property line. In some cases, this strip of land could be much larger if running adjacent to the rear lot line. Within these easements, no structure of any kind shall be placed, erected, constructed or maintained, and no tree or vegetation shall be felled, cut, trimmed, pruned or removed, except as may reasonably be required by the association to construct and maintain trails and park sites therein and/or for the construction and maintenance of public and private utility easements shown on the subdivision maps.
- Access Easements: These easements are created so an owner can gain access to a relatively steep lot. An access easement gives someone the right to travel across a designated strip of land owned by another person for ingress and egress purposes. Maps showing all access easements are maintained in the Architectural Standards Office.
- Slope Easements: These easements were created to protect steep areas from erosion and sliding. No structure, plantings or other materials shall be placed or permitted to remain which may damage or interfere with established slope ratios, create erosion or sliding problems, or may change the direction of drainage channels.
More information can be found on easements and setbacks in Article VI and IX of the TDA governing documents, and pages 10 and 11 of the Architectural Standards Rules, Procedures and Restrictions for Land Use. If you have any questions regarding your building envelope or setback lines in relation a proposed structure or landscaping project on your lot please stop by the Architectural Standards Office for further assistance.
Architectural Standards Manager