Initiative phasing out VHRs in South Lake Tahoe residential areas heading to November ballot | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Initiative phasing out VHRs in South Lake Tahoe residential areas heading to November ballot

An initiative that would phase out vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe residential areas is heading to the November ballot.

The Tahoe Neighborhoods Group received confirmation Friday that it had gathered enough valid signatures to get its initiative on the November ballot.

If voters approve the initiative, it would phase out VHRs outside the city's tourist core — an area that stretches from Ski Run Boulevard down U.S. 50 to the area near Stateline — and commercially zoned areas over a three-year period.

Permanent residents would be allowed to rent out their home or a unit on the same parcel for up to 30 days a year. It does not apply to VHRs within the tourist core.

Members of the Tahoe Neighborhoods Group, which describes itself as a grassroots effort, say their goal is to give voters the chance to decide if they want VHRs in neighborhoods.

The initiative is the first of three possible citizen-driven questions to qualify for the ballot.

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In late May the Sustainable Community Alliance, a group backed by Realtors and local businesses that operate in the VHR industry, submitted signatures for an initiative that would increase some restrictions while locking in the city's current cap of 1,400 VHRs outside the tourist core.

Only a vote of the people could change the cap number.

It also would reduce the maximum bedroom occupancy, prohibit sound amplification devices outside, require the creation of an oversight committee and an independent special commission and prohibit anyone illegally operating a VHR from obtaining a permit, among other elements.

Backers of the Sustainable Community Alliance have said the initiative is an attempt to compromise on an issue that is both contentious and seen as critical to South Shore's tourism-driven economy.

Sustainable Community Alliance submitted 1,827 signatures in late May. It needs 1,004 signatures validated in order to qualify for the ballot.

A third possible question on the November ballot would address cannabis businesses in the city. In mid-May Tahoe Wellness Cooperative’s Executive Director Cody Bass submitted 1,615 petition signatures for a ballot initiative that would permit all state cannabis licenses within the city without restricting the allowable number of businesses.

A minimum of 1,036 signatures need to be verified in order for the initiative to qualify for the ballot.