Changes in the mix for hotels, condos
South Lake Tahoe is in the midst of beefing up its ordinances in respect to hotel-condominium units with the hope that it will gain tax revenue if and when the convention center complex is built.
The City Council approved first reading of an ordinance that restricts the length of stay for an owner of a hotel condo unit.
The ordinance, which will be heard in its second reading July 11, prohibits an owner to occupy the individually owned residence for more than 60 days a year.
The city receives property tax from owners and transient occupancy tax from renters of the units. After building the Park Avenue complex anchored by two Marriott timeshare hotels, the city failed to collect as much motel room tax as it had hoped for.
The city modeled the ordinance after a similar one created in Napa last year. Six months later, a hotel condominium complex was approved.
Gerri Grego, who works for the Beachcomber homeowner’s association, said she’s concerned with ordinance because it infringes on an owner’s property rights.
“It’s a shame someone owns a piece of property and can’t use it when they want to,” she said.
But City Manager Dave Jinkens and Councilwoman Kathy Lovell countered that prospective owners make a choice when they buy a unit and the disclosures should make them well aware of the restrictions.
Grego also questioned the city stepping up efforts to enforce a code on the books for a decade, which is relative to visitor lodging. Another ordinance requires those selling off premises lodging to have a real estate license.
“We want this to be professional,” City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo said.