What is a Lake Tahoe IPES score?
If you are in the process of purchasing land in Lake Tahoe with the intent of future building, you might hear your REALTOR® talking about an IPES score. IPES stands for an “Individual Parcel Evaluation System” that was created in 1987 to determine the eligibility of development and available coverage for residential parcels. If you’re a parcel was developed prior to 1987, there will not be an IPES score, nor will there be a need for one. After that year, each parcel received an IPES score ranging all the way from 0 to 1017. If a parcel has an IPES score of 726 of higher, a lot is deemed “buildable.” If the score is lower, then it is eligible to apply for an allocation.
When a parcel is scored, only 14,520 square feet are evaluated. A property that is larger needs to apply for a Determination of Allowable Coverage. This is needed so that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency can assess whether the whole parcel is similar to the original 1/3 of an acre that was evaluated. When a parcel is a minimum of 25,410 sq. feet an owner can apply for an alternative building site evaluation. This cannot exceed the original building site by more than 25 %.
Base allowable coverage on IPES parcels is determined by relative erosion hazard and runoff potential. Due to these criterias, two parcels may have matching IPES scores but different percentages on the allowable coverage. The scoring system is based on 8 of the following elements:
- Ability to revegetate
- Relative erosion hazard
- Runoff potential
- Stream environment zones
- Condition of local watershed
- Need for water quality improvements based on vicinity of the parcel from the lake.
To view the form needed to apply for an IPES score, click here.