Vacation home rentals could be heading to ballot in Douglas County | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vacation home rentals could be heading to ballot in Douglas County

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

STATELINE, Nev. — Douglas County may place vacation home rentals on the ballot in 2020.

After two hours of discussing the future of VHRs, outgoing county commission Chairman Steve Thaler expressed doubts that a task force to discuss the issue would resolve anything.

“We had a roads task force and we didn’t do anything with their recommendations,” he said in closing out the discussion earlier this month.

Thaler is able to count the number of meetings left for his commissionership on one hand before he turns the reins over to John Engels.

Engels said he wanted to see a ban on new rentals across the county, while allowing those current rentals to continue.

Outgoing county Commissioner Nancy McDermid argued that concentrating vacation rentals in Tahoe Township was unfair to those residents.

“The idea that it’s OK to have all the VHRs go to Tahoe is not fair and it’s not right, especially in light of what’s happening on the other side of the state line. People are going through a lot more misery before this is over.”

Commissioner Dave Nelson said that rather than a survey he would like to see the issue on the ballot, which Thaler agreed with. Because of the $100,000 cost of a special election, a vote most likely would not come until 2020.

“2020 is not that far away,” Thaler pointed out.

Commissioners said a survey recently conducted by the county was not very useful.

Staff said that most people agreed that absentee rental owners tended to be the greatest problem.

VHRs continue to be one of the most hotly contested issued in the Tahoe Basin.

In South Lake Tahoe, voters appear to have approved a ballot question that would largely ban VHRs in residential neighborhoods in three years.

Representatives from neighboring governmental entities, including El Dorado County, have said that the South Lake Tahoe ballot question, if passed, could have real consequences for their jurisdictions.