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City council adopts Climate Action Plan; discusses shared rentals

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Lake Tahoe City Council approved an environmental plan Tuesday that will help move towards its goal of 100% renewable energy.

The Climate Action Plan lays out the framework on how to move forward by tracking greenhouse emissions and working on implementing plans to reduce them.

Strategies that would be implemented encompass transportation, land use, building energy, water and solid waste and carbon sequestration and watershed health.

The council unanimously approved the plan but Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Wallace echoed concerns from some public commenters about not putting too much of a burden on the business community when implementing strategies.

The council also continued conversation about the shared rental ordinance which would allow for short-term rentals within an occupied home or in extra units on the property.

Councilmembers Brooke Laine and Cody Bass both emphasized that they’d like to see the ordinance start off being really strict and loosening it up if possible once the city sees how its working. The council was in general agreement that tenants could rent out rooms if they have at least a two-year lease and have the homeowner’s permission.

One point of contention was whether business entities, such as Airbnb, that own homes could rent out rooms. Councilmember Devin Middlebrook expressed concern that they’d run into the problem of businesses buying up properties and renting for profit which could be a loophole around Measure T. However, Mayor Jason Collin and Wallace said there are circumstances when people own homes under a limited liability company, for tax purposes and they don’t want to exclude them.

The council was not ready to approve the first reading and the ordinance will be brought back with changes at the next meeting.

The council held another appeal hearing for a revoked VHR permit. In keeping with continuity, the council denied the appeal with Wallace being strongly against doing so.

“We should show the same grace that we offered countless other businesses in town during the crisis,” Wallace said.

Laine pointed out that the city manager granted a 30-day extension for permits that expired in April, which applies to this VHR, although Laine did acknowledge it was probably not the level of forgiveness Wallace was looking for.

Police Chief David Stevenson gave an update on South Tahoe Alternative Collaborative Services. The partnership between SLTPD, El Dorado County Behavioral Health, Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless, Barton Health, South Lake Tahoe Fire and Cal Tahoe EMS is supposed to address and reduce homelessness, drug abuse disorders and mental health crises.

The group had their first working meeting on Oct. 15 and will be holding another meeting next week. Stevenson will update the council on the group’s progress in a future meeting.

City Manager Joe Irvin announced several improvements the city will be making to Regan Beach, including new signs, a gate at the exit and curb extensions at the park entrance to improve pedestrian safety.

Finally, the city recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


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