Douglas County to discuss VHR cap, regulations at Lake Tahoe

Staff Report


STATELINE, Nev. — Douglas County commissioners this week will discuss a regulatory framework for vacation home rentals at Lake Tahoe, including a cap and temporarily freezing new permits.

The commissioners may cap VHRs at 725 and may also place a temporary moratorium on new permits.

County officials estimate that at any given time there are between 600 and 1,100 active VHRs in the Tahoe Township.

In January 2020, there were 608 permitted VHRs, which accounts for approximately 12.5% of the county’s housing units in Tahoe. There are an estimated 135 non permitted VHRs. The number of permitted houses dropped to 533 in March 2020. Operating a VHR in the county outside of Tahoe is not allowed.

According to the staff report for the meeting, “For fiscal year 2019/2020 it is projected the program will generate approximately $149,134 in fees, $5,500 in fines and $2.3 million, ($1.9 million adjusted for COVID-19 impacts) in transient occupancy tax and transient lodging license tax, for a total of between $2.4 and $2.5 million in revenue generated.”

Is it also estimated on average a VHR permit generates approximately between $25,000 and $30,000 of income annually per property owner. The average nightly rate of a VHR this fiscal year is $372 with an average occupancy rate of 29%.

The county conducted a survey on VHRs and of the 1,010 responses received, 25% did not believe there should be VHRs allowed anywhere in the county and only 24% believed they should be allowed just in Tahoe.

Along with the cap, the county will discuss other regulations such as noise, parking and bear box requirements. It could also implement a fine structure of $500 a day up to $10,000 for non-compliance.

Additional staff is recommended to be assigned to VHR administration and code and law enforcement. Cost of the new staff would be covered by raising permit fees.

The meeting is at 1 p.m. Thursday. Public comment during the meeting can be made at

To watch the meeting, visit

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