SLT passes moratorium on VHRs; petition seeks to put VHRs in residential areas to a vote |

SLT passes moratorium on VHRs; petition seeks to put VHRs in residential areas to a vote

Vacation home rentals continue to be a controversial subject in South Lake Tahoe.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune

There will be no new vacation home rentals permitted in the city of South Lake Tahoe — at least for another 45 days.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, City Council voted to enact a temporary urgency ordinance to freeze the number of VHR permits at the number that existed that day. Currently, there are 1,847 VHR permits, 1,397 of which are outside the tourist core in residential areas. Approximately 70 applications are pending that will be halted in the approval process.

The ordinance unanimously passed with four votes. Councilmember Tom Davis was recused from the vote due to his part ownership of the short-term rental company Tahoe Keys Resort.

The urgency ordinance is in effect for 45 days, but can be extended with another vote or repealed at an earlier date. City Council opted to institute the temporary moratorium to prevent a “run on the bank” as they work to finalize amendments to the city code governing VHRs outside of the tourist core.

At the previous meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, councilmembers could not reach a consensus on whether both a cap on VHR permits at 1,400 and a distance requirement of 150-feet between VHRs were necessary.

Mayor Pro Wendy David and councilmember Brooke Laine supported a cap but not a distance requirement, while Mayor Austin Sass was in favor of both. Councilmember Jason Collin said he needed more data to make the decision. City staff was directed to come back at the next regularly scheduled meeting with a proposed cap number with evidence to back it up.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Sass announced that the city had received word that a citizens group intends to circulate a petition seeking to get a public vote on whether VHRs should be allowed in residential areas in South Lake Tahoe outside of the tourist core.

The next regularly scheduled Council Meeting is on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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