Douglas County judge denies preliminary injunction in vacation rental lawsuit

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier

A preliminary injunction was denied against a Lake ridge homeowner who was renting his property for less than the 60 days.

District Judge Tod Young said that the requirement of irreparable harm for a preliminary injunction was not met by the Lakeridge General Improvement District.

“Here the court only heard of varying difficulties with trash, pets and parking congestion with alleged diminution of property value being speculative during the hearing,” Young wrote in his ruling. “As the court observed during the hearing, such issues can be addressed without lasting damage pending trial. In addition, the court has no indication that monetary compensation cannot adequately address any inconvenience or nuisance pending trial.”

A three-day trial in Matthew Kvancz’ lawsuit against Lakeridge General Improvement District over that rule that prevents homeowners from renting for fewer than 60 days is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2024.

Douglas County commissioners are expected to hear the second reading at their June 1 meeting. His permit to operate a vacation home rental was revoked after the county determined it violated Lakeridge’s deed restrictions.

Historically, the county doesn’t involve itself in disputes over deed restrictions or covenants, codes and restrictions, which are typically civil actions.

Under the rental code in effect, an owner of a vacation home rental has to sign a statement confirming it’s not deed restricted or located in an area governed by a homeowners association or covenants, conditions and restrictions.

Under the current code permits won’t be issued where those conditions are in place.

Douglas County is in the process of revising its vacation home rental code that will include that owners are required to notify a homeowners association as a precondition of permit approval. It’s up to the owner to determine what those conditions are, under the proposed revision.

The vacation home rental ordinance was the subject of a federal lawsuit that was filed by nine homeowners to prevent it from being implemented on July 15, 2021.

Vacation rentals are prohibited outside of the Lake Tahoe Basin under the ordinance. In East Fork, a special use permit for a bed and breakfast is required to conduct short-term rentals. While breakfast isn’t necessary for approval, a public hearing before the Douglas County Planning Commission is. Residents seeking a permit in East Fork, which includes all of Douglas County outside of the basin, are required to be on the property while it’s being rented.

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