South Lake Tahoe City Council to discuss Measure T, Tahoe Wellness Cooperative lawsuits in closed session | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Lake Tahoe City Council to discuss Measure T, Tahoe Wellness Cooperative lawsuits in closed session

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — City Council will meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss several legal matters currently facing the city.

Among the items on the agenda are litigation concerning Measure T, a ballot initiative that will outlaw most vacation home rentals in the city, and an ongoing lawsuit by Tahoe Wellness Cooperative, the city’s only legally operating cannabis business.

Council is expected to provide direction on how to respond to the Measure T lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which aims to strike down the voter-approved measure on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional, was filed in December by a group calling itself the South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group.

On Dec. 24 a judge issued a temporary injunction against newly established occupancy limits enacted by the passage of Measure T.

Prior to the judge's decision, the city of South Lake Tahoe said it would exercise discretion when enforcing the new occupancy limits during the holiday season. The case is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 24.

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Supporters of Measure T have expressed some concern about how rigorously the city will defend the measure.

A 2016 ballot initiative, also named Measure T, triggered a lawsuit after voters approved it. The lawsuit argued the measure was unconstitutional and unenforceable. The city ultimately agreed with the position detailed in the lawsuit and did not muster a defense.

A judge then ruled the measure was unconstitutional.

When asked last month whether the city intends to defend against the claims made in the recent lawsuit, City Attorney Heather Stroud told the Tribune she had not received legal direction from council on how to respond to the suit.

That direction is expected to come Tuesday.

Council also is poised to discuss the ongoing lawsuit with Tahoe Wellness Cooperative.

The cooperative, which is owned by Councilor Cody Bass, sued the city after it rejected the cooperative’s permit renewal application in 2016.

A lower court judge ruled in the city’s favor, and Tahoe Wellness appealed the ruling.

The case is still in the appellate court.

While the city is currently defending the appeal, council has yet to consider a settlement offer put forward by Tahoe Wellness in December, as the Tribune reported.

The settlement offer is expected to be part of council’s discussion Tuesday.

The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 8, according to the agenda.