County officials, possible VHR, cannabis measures on ballot this June |

County officials, possible VHR, cannabis measures on ballot this June

Claire Cudahy
South Lake Tahoe voters trickle in to the polling station at Lake Tahoe Community College on the morning of Election Day 2016.
Claire Cudahy / Tribune File Photo

This June, South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County residents will vote on a number of county and state representatives — and those in the city may have two extra questions on the ballot: one on vacation home rentals and the other on cannabis.

Two notices of intent to circulate petition were filed with the city of South Lake Tahoe at the end of October, as previously reported by the Tribune.

South Lake Tahoe residents Dr. Kenneth Weitzman and Daniel Browne drafted a petition that would put the issue of VHRs in residential areas to a vote. The pair hopes to eradicate them from neighborhoods outside the tourist core, but allow full-time residents the ability to rent out their homes as they choose.

James Anthony, attorney to South Lake Tahoe’s lone medical marijuana dispensary Tahoe Wellness Cooperative, filed a petition seeking to get a public vote on a slew of changes to the city ordinance governing his client. The proposed changes to the medical marijuana ordinance give medical marijuana dispensaries vested rights and the ability to sell recreational cannabis, among other provisions.

In accordance with California election law, city attorney Nira Doherty drafted and returned ballot titles and summaries to the filers within 15 days. However, neither party has published those in the newspaper, a necessary next step before circulation of the petitions is allowed.

The parties have 180 days from the time they receive the ballot title and summary to collect the necessary signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot. The petition needs a minimum of 10 percent of the South Lake Tahoe voters from the last reported registrations.

According to the El Dorado County Elections Department, the last reported registration was 10,353 voters. This means they would need at least 1,036 valid signatures from registered voters — not just residents — in South Lake Tahoe. The signatures are crosschecked with the voter database and validated by the elections department.

An official at El Dorado County Elections Departments expressed some skepticism as to whether this could be accomplished before the Jan. 31, 2018 deadline for getting a measure on the ballot.

The Tribune could not reach either party by the time of press to inquire about the status of the petitions.


El Dorado County residents — including those in the city — also will vote on county and state representatives this June.

In the countywide contest, voters will choose a sheriff, recorder-clerk, auditor-controller, assessor, district attorney, surveyor, superintendent of schools, treasurer-tax collector, and judge for Dept. 8.

The county supervisors for Districts 4 and 5 (South Lake Tahoe’s district) are up for grabs as well. Though three candidates have put their names in the ring for District 4, no one has filed for candidacy in District 5, including incumbent Sue Novasel. The deadline is March 9.

At the state level, voters will elect a member of the California State Assembly, state senator, representative for the U.S. House, superintendent of public instruction, member of the State Board of Equalization, insurance commissioner, attorney general, secretary of state, state controller, state treasurer, governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. senator.

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