The City of South Lake Tahoe recognizes that for certain residents, quality affordable housing has been difficult to obtain. In recent years many older hotel/motel properties have responded to the demand for lower income, workforce housing by converting their use from transient lodging to long term living facilities. Although this has fulfilled some of the demand for affordable housing, the conditions in these converted motel rooms are typically well below housing code standards for long term living facilities. This is due to a combination of deferred maintenance and lack of design standards.
The Council of the City of South Lake Tahoe is now poised to enact a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) ordinance that will implement common sense regulations for the use of hotel/motel rooms as quality transitional housing. Current estimates are that approximately 58 hotels/motels are engaging in the business of long term occupancy of their rooms. The goal of this SRO ordinance is to legitimize this use, increase the standard of living for the occupants of these units and improve overall community appearance.
The City Council discussed the proposed Single Room Occupancy Ordinance at the March 3, 2015 meeting. Community members attended a community workshop about the ordinance on April 22, 2015, and provided feedback. The first reading of the SRO ordinance is scheduled for the June 2, 2015 City Council meeting. If an SRO Ordinance is adopted, regulations would take effect 30 days after adoption. The current draft ordinance would require hotels/motels in long term use to obtain building permits and register for the SRO program within sixty (60) days of the ordinance’s effective date, and completed construction within twelve (12) months.