Critics of residential hotel ordinance discuss next steps |

Critics of residential hotel ordinance discuss next steps

Jack Barnwell

Critics of the recently enacted ordinance regulating residential motels in South Lake Tahoe met Thursday morning to discuss the next stages.

Ted Long, a lawyer and former council member, and Yves Stilmant, property manager for Stateline Lodge, discussed how the new ordinance would impact properties in the city.

The ordinance, which passed at the June 17 council meeting in a 4-1 vote, requires hotels who have units rented for more than 30 days to obtain a permit and pay an $80 per unit inspection fee with the city.

Approximately 25 percent of the 5,000 hotel rooms in South Lake Tahoe city limits act as long-term residences.

The permit also requires the units to have either a kitchen and/or microwave, bar sink, a refrigerator, make any necessary upgrades if warranted after an inspection, codifies the space-to-tenant requirements.

Long said there were still many flaws with the ordinance, including an uncertainty about whether a bar sink requires a new sewer connection from South Tahoe Public Utilities District.

Stilmant noted the city could offer affected properties a free assessment and inspection, inventory the properties that needed to make the improvements and go from there.

Long, who had asked the city council on June 17 for a 30-to-60 day delay on the ordinance, said it had been hastily passed.

“Isn’t it worth 30 days to get owners and tenants together and work out what needs to be clarified?” Long asked. Instead, he said many properties faced potentially high costs and could impact up to 3,000 people who couldn’t afford other housing in South Lake Tahoe.

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