On Tuesday, the South Lake Tahoe City Council unanimously voted in an unnecessary and overreaching new permit process for vacation rentals without regard to the impact on the local economy. The passing of this new process was irresponsible by the current City Council who proceeded with a highly controversial ordinance without doing a study to fully understand the impacts this would have on tourism and the local economy. Had the City Council simply enforced their existing ordinance regarding noise, trash, and nuisance issues, the majority of the problems with vacation rentals would have gone away. The new permit process was a knee jerk reaction, and not needed. The Council was repeatedly asked to table the new permit process for at least a year, and simply enforce the existing ordinance, to see if there would be necessary changes at that time. But instead proceeded with their own agenda, ignoring a large portion of their voting constituents. The argument by some Council members that impact on the economy would be minimal is completely inaccurate. I have personally just lost a home sale, today, due to this onerous unnecessary ordinance and the concerns it has brought for a potential buyer/investor in our town. How's that for no effect on the economy and tourism?
We need better enforcement to protect neighborhoods, not draconian measures that will discourage buyers from pursuing their dreams of owning property in South Lake Tahoe. Neighborhood hearings will also impact VHR sellers. Hearing requirements will place an unfair cloud over their property listing, when selling is important to their personal and/or financial well-being. Let's not "throw the baby out with the bath water" when we now have even stricter VHR ordinances with even more "teeth" than before. Complaints are relatively few as compared to the total rental activity, however, I agree there is room for improvement. Common sense dictates that we give these updated regulations with more enforcement manpower a reasonable chance to work. For what its worth, I have two vacation rentals next to me which have never been a problem.
Allowing a hearing for neighborhood input is a bad ideal! When selling a second home that is on a VHR program, a buyer needs more certainty to continue the same usage. Most second home buyers find VHRs unattractive when the find that the yearly revenue averages $10,000 per year and the rental management gets half of it. At that point, it isn't financially attractive and the buyer usually opts out of the VHR program. There is a saturation point for VHRs. When the rentals become diluted, homeowners drop out of the program. Personally, I don't like the thought of a neighbor telling me how to use my property! ×