Council says ‘no’ to vacation rental changes |

Council says ‘no’ to vacation rental changes

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The South Lake Tahoe City Council hesitated Tuesday to make changes to its heavily debated Vacation Home Rental Ordinance.

Community Service Officer Bob Albertazzi recommended several changes to the ordinance in a May 16 staff report, including eliminating a requirement for rental properties to post a sign, limiting the number of people who could attend gatherings at rental properties and restricting overnight parking to on-site spaces.

City Councilman Bruce Grego said he was hesitant to change an ordinance that attracted hours of discussion at previous council meetings and wasn’t broken as far as he could tell.

“I think we have an ordinance that generally works,” Grego said.

Albertazzi said the primary reason the item was brought to the council was to consolidate management of the program, apart from administration and collection of the city’s hotel tax, under the chief of police.

The additional changes to the ordinance were fine tuning, not fixes, Albertazzi said.

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The council agreed to examine a 30 percent fee for late vacation rental permit payments suggested by Albertazzi, as well as look at the consolidation of the vacation rental ordinance under the chief of police, at their next meeting in two weeks.

The council also agreed to look into the payment of the city’s hotel tax by owners of individual rental properties, following a concern by Lake Tahoe Accommodations owner Jim Morris that the “vacation rental by owner” segment of the market has been overlooked.

City Councilman Tom Davis recused himself during the discussion because he is a shareholder in Tahoe Keys Resort.

In other City Council news:

n The council found two of the five redistricting options presented by El Dorado County would be the most beneficial to South Shore residents. Two of the proposals split the South Shore between two supervisor districts.

The council recommended the county’s Alternative 3 as its first choice, but found Alternative 5 is the best option if the county determines splitting the South Shore between two supervisor districts is necessary.

Alternative 3 extends the boundaries of El Dorado County District 5 west to Pollock Pines. Alternative 5 splits Meyers and the city between two supervisor districts, but keeps any part of the South Shore from being included in the same supervisor district as Placerville, unlike Alternative 4.

Drawing district lines that would avoid competition for votes with other population centers in the county and improve the chances for at least one Lake Tahoe Basin resident to be included on the board of supervisors was a major theme of Tuesday’s discussion.

Councilman Tom Davis said El Dorado County Supervisors “don’t care” about Lake Tahoe’s issues and said having two supervisors could be beneficial to the area.

Still, he said the ramifications of the different options were “clear as mud.”

El Dorado County Supervisors are expected to review public input and make a decision on the redistricting boundaries later this summer.

n Whether a dog park should be included in a park proposed at the site of the C&M Lodge became the primary focus of conversion regarding a transfer of Tourist Accommodation Units across the stateline Tuesday.

The council approved a request by Edgewood Companies to transfer 50 of the units from its C&M Lodge property to its Edgewood Lodge project at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course. The units are commodities that allow the development of hotel rooms in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Edgewood has proposed building a park at the one acre C&M site, located at 1209 Bonanza Ave. Neighborhood sentiment about whether a fenced dog park should be included at the site has been split.

Several council members said the park should focus on families and was too small to accommodate a dog park.

After a lengthy discussion, the council agreed to remove language requiring a dog park at the site from the TAU transfer permit.

Edgewood Companies will be required to build the park and donate it to the city before the final transfer of the TAU’s is approved.