El Dorado County supervisors oppose moving forward with VHR moratorium, for now
SPECIAL MEETINGWhat: El Dorado County Board of Supervisors special meeting on vacation home rentalsWhen: Feb. 1 at 6 p.m.Where: South Lake Tahoe City Council chambers at 1901 Airport Road
After a healthy dose of public comment, a majority of El Dorado County supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 9, voted against directing staff to start the process of drafting a temporary moratorium on vacation home rentals in unincorporated portions of the Tahoe Basin.
District 2 Supervisor Shiva Frentzen requested the item be put on the agenda after continuing to receive numerous complaints on the vacation home rental (VHR) issue, she explained Tuesday. The vote was conceptual in nature, meaning it would have initiated the process necessary to bring an actual moratorium before supervisors later this month.
The pause in new applications, Frentzen explained, would have acted to “stop the bleeding” as an ad hoc committee — consisting of supervisors Sue Novasel, who represents the Tahoe Basin in El Dorado County, and Michael Ranalli, whose district includes Apple Hill — continues to address the issue.
Novasel recused herself due to some concern about a possible conflict of interest. The California Fair Political Practices Commission (CFFPC) was asked for advice on the matter and, along with county counsel, recommended Novasel recuse herself until a determination could be reached.
Novasel said she was confident there was no conflict of interest and that she would be able to rejoin the conversation once the CFFPC offered its opinion.
County counsel Michael Ciccozzi said Novasel’s decision was in the best interest of the county.
After an inundation of public comment from residents claiming to be negatively impacted by VHRs and supporters of VHRs, predominantly VHR owners and Realtors, supervisors voted 3-1 against the temporary moratorium. Frentzen cast the lone vote in favor of the moratorium.
Supervisor Ranalli, who was tapped earlier in the day to serve as the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors chair for 2018, said a possible moratorium at this time was out of order in the sequence of steps as he saw them. With significant momentum at the committee level, Ranalli said priority No. 1 was staffing and enforcement matters regarding VHRs.
With the county setting a Feb. 1 meeting in South Lake Tahoe to discuss VHRs, Ranalli worried that the work in preparing a temporary moratorium for a possible vote later this month would detract from staff’s work on preparing possible enforcement and regulatory suggestions in time for the Feb. 1 meeting.
El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton confirmed Ranalli’s concern, stating that if supervisors approved the moratorium he would recommend canceling the Feb. 1 meeting.
Ultimately, supervisors John Hidahl and Brian K. Veerkamp voted with Ranalli in opposing the proposal to direct staff to begin working on a moratorium.
The supervisors special meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in South Lake Tahoe City Council chambers at 1901 Airport Road.