Design Guidelines

City of South Lake Tahoe Design Guidelines

The primary purpose of the South Lake Tahoe Design Guidelines (Guidelines) is to provide a visual tool to help guide project applicants on how to meet the required design standards in a manner that meets the desired aesthetic of the community. They are intended to assist landowners, developers, tenants and their consultants, such as architects, who propose any alteration, addition, construction, and/or development in understanding the basic design ideas related to the City of South Lake Tahoe’s (City’s)design standards in order to improve the area’s visual quality.

The Guidelines are not intended to inhibit innovative design or espouse one style of mountain design. They are intended to allow freedom of expression, innovation and creativity while developing built elements that are timeless or do not appear overly trendy. They provide an illustrative and descriptive tool for establishing and maintaining an overall unifying character and image for the entire community.

The Guidelines were developed as part of a collaborative outreach process. Community members were invited to take part of three public workshops and two online surveys. The first meeting and online survey focused on understanding what types of buildings, signage and landscape elements best represented the type of mountain architecture the community desired for South Lake Tahoe. The second meeting and online survey provided a venue for community members to comment on the Draft Design Guidelines. Survey and meeting results indicated that participants felt the imagery provided represented their desired aesthetic character for South Lake Tahoe. At the final public meeting the Final Draft Design Guidelines were presented, areas where the Draft Design Guidelines had been modified to respond to public input were identified and the community was provided another opportunity to provide input.

Adopted Design Guidelines Manual (PDF) (2016)