South Lake Tahoe City Council talks SnowGlobe, vacation homes, taxi cabs and massage rules | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Lake Tahoe City Council talks SnowGlobe, vacation homes, taxi cabs and massage rules

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com
Slug, of Atmosphere, performs at the 2014 SnowGlobe Music Festival. The South Lake Tahoe City Council approved a contract Tuesday for the festival to run through 2018.
Adam Jensen / File Photo |

The beat will go on — at least through 2018.

On Tuesday, July 19, South Lake Tahoe City Council approved a contract for the SnowGlobe Music Festival to continue through 2018 at the playing fields near Lake Tahoe Community College. The approval is contingent on review by college officials.

Chad Donnelly, producer of the three-day electric dance music festival leading up to New Year’s Day, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting and said he is interested in producing additional events at the site at other times of year and attracting different demographics to the South Shore. Those events may not even be focused on music, Donnelly said.

The council also approved a contribution to this year’s SnowGlobe of no more than $50,000, including trash and transportation expenses, as well as $25,000 in city services.

In Other News

The city council approved modifications to its Vacation Home Rental Ordinance that will allow existing multi-family properties used as vacation home rentals to continue operating as such as long as they meet certain conditions. Permits for existing vacation home rentals on multi-family properties will be renewed if there is no change in ownership, the number of bedrooms doesn’t increase, all Transient Occupancy Tax is paid and the rental has not received two or more violations of the ordinance, according to changes approved by the council by a 4-0 vote Tuesday.

“This ordinance allows the continued operation of existing permitted vacation rentals on multi-family properties, subject to the conditions above, but does not allow for any new vacation rentals on multi-family properties,” wrote Hilary Roverud, the city’s deputy director of development services, in a staff report.

Councilman Tom Davis recused himself from the discussion due to his involvement in the vacation-home-rental industry.

The city council modified one of two tax measures expected to be before voters this November. Voters will be asked whether they want to increase the city’s transaction-and-use tax by a half-percent, and whether they want the money from the increase to go to housing, road construction and maintenance or city hall facilities and equipment. Following input from El Dorado County Elections Department, the city removed a proportional proposal for how the potential tax increase would be spent. If approved by voters, all of the tax increase would go to the area most favored by voters.

The city council loosened its regulations surrounding taxi cabs in response to ride-sharing companies, like Lyft and Uber, starting services in South Lake Tahoe. Under the changes approved Tuesday, the city will no longer inspect all cabs on an annual basis, manage operator’s licenses or criminal history and background checks for cab companies. The changes were designed to reduce fees and make regulations surrounding taxi cabs closer to what California requires of the ride-sharing companies. The council approved the changes by a 5-0 vote Tuesday.

City council unanimously approved several changes to the city’s massage regulations Tuesday following concerns about prostitution and sex trafficking in the city.

“The Code being presented to South Lake Tahoe City Council is modeled after ‘best practices’ in several other cities in California,” according to a staff report from Police Chief Brian Uhler. “It requires massage therapists operating in South Lake Tahoe to be certified by (California Massage Therapy Council). Further, it addresses the human trafficking element by requiring names, photos, and verifiable proof of certification through the state. The proposed code requires a registry of dates, times and services rendered by the therapists.”