City denies cell tower appeal; approves first reading of shared rental ordinance |

City denies cell tower appeal; approves first reading of shared rental ordinance

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Lake Tahoe City Council on Tuesday denied another appeal that would have stopped installation of a wireless facility.

The group “Concerned Citizens of South Lake Tahoe,” appealed the permit for a wireless communication facility on the roof of Tahoe Seasons Resort at 3901 Saddle Road.

The permit was awarded to Verizon Wireless by the planning commission on July 16. During the appeal hearing, Verizon officials said the permit application not only meets the standards of the old wireless ordinance but it also meets the standards of the new ordinance that council passed this summer.

Verizon officials also added the wireless facilities being constructed are designed for 4G and that 5G “will not be coming to South Lake Tahoe anytime soon.”

Resident Robert Aaron represented the concerned citizens group during the hearing.

While wireless facilities have been a contentious issue in the community, this hearing was by far more calm and quicker than the previous hearing for the tower in the Needle Peak neighborhood.

The council unanimously voted to deny the appeal and uphold the permit.

Council also unanimously approved the first reading of the shared rental ordinance. This was the third time the first reading had been heard by council.

City Attorney Heather Stroud started her presentation by stating that this ordinance is not a work-around for the voter-approved Measure T that restricts vacation home rentals outside the tourist core, but is actually the city’s attempt to close loopholes in the measure.

However, several members of the public commented saying they did think it was a work-around and they would prefer the city to place an outright ban on shared, or hosted rentals.

Councilmember Brooke Laine shared concerns about enforcement of the ordinance but both City Manager Joe Irvin and Police Chief David Stevenson said enforcement is a priority.

Another concern brought up in comment was if homeowners could hold multiple shared rental permits. Since the homeowner, or tenant, must be a full-time resident of the home, they can only have one permit.

The second reading will be held during the Nov. 17 meeting and, if passed, will go into effect on Dec. 17. Measure T goes into effect in January.

The council also voted to renew a contract between the police department and the school district for a school resource officer. The agreement, which Stevenson said has been in place for about 30 years, ensures the school district will pay the salary for the officer for the nine months of the year that school is in session. The officer is already in place and is not a new hire.

During the consent agenda, the council approved a new vehicle purchase for the police department and a minimum wage increase for city employees to $14 per hour.

The next meeting will be held Nov. 17. and will be the last meeting for Mayor Jason Collin and Laine.

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