The ban on vacations rentals here in South Lake Tahoe is called Measure T.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — It does not appear there will be a compromise to settle a lawsuit over the city’s voter-approved ban on vacation home rentals-called Measure T. Today, September 3, 2019 our City Council unanimously decided Tuesday (5-0) to defend Measure T which originally passed December, 2018 by just 58 votes.
Following the decision in closed session, council cited the will of the voters as the reason for its decision.
“We feel like this is what we’re expected to do,” Mayor Brooke Laine told the Tribune. “It’s kind of out of our hands, because a majority did support this.” In announcing the vote, council did state there could be future ballot initiatives that seek to change the city’s VHR regulations. But crafting those initiatives should be up to the public, Laine said.
“We all anticipated the city would defend this and ultimately this will end up in court,” said Mark Salmon, a local Realtor who is among a group representing the South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group. The Property Owners Group filed a lawsuite against the city arguing Measure T is unconstitutional.
Although the anti-Measure T group did have some issues with the proposal, it was willing to continue with the discussion, Salmon told the Tribune. When the Neighborhoods Group (group pro Measure T) refused to participate, it became apparent the litigation was going to move forward, he added.
“We really have no choice,” he said. “Ultimately we are seeking compromise and that’s why the group we’re representing is pursuing this (litigation).”Depending on the outcome of the litigation, voters could be looking at another ballot initiative which would be 2020. If Measure T is ultimately struck down, Salmon said the city would revert to its previous regulations, which he argued are proving to be effective. To review the new current regulations please visit.
OR if Measure T is upheld in court
If Measure T is upheld in court, Salmon said the Sustainable Community Alliance will then move forward with putting a ballot initiative on the 2020 ballot. The Alliance tried to oppose the ballot but failed to get the necessary number of valid signatures needed. A company was hired to do this and they failed.
Enforcement is working which is good news
The city experienced a 59% reduction of VHR complaints over the first three months of 2019 compared to the previous year after the city did enforce new rules. Last year the city starting enforcing new rules and making it more difficult to get a permit for a vacation rental. The rules weren’t in place long before the vote occurred. There are many vacation rentals that pose no problems to neighbors and others that are a constant problem.
Vacation Rentals will still be allowed in the tourist core and the county
The tourist core will still allow vacation rentals in the city limits but it is just a handful of properties. They are mostly located around the casino corridor and close to Ski Run Blvd. The county also still allows vacation rentals but they are also getting stricter on rules which is great. As we all know there are many sides to this story, in a tourist economy an all out ban seems a little extreme and hopefully if vacation rentals come back legally than the bad apples with be punished and lose their permits. Unfortunately we will never make everyone happy I just hope for more of a balanced approach.
For more information please feel free to contact me, Jennifer Fortune 530-318-9286 or firstname.lastname@example.org