Douglas County commissioners to consider changes to vacation home rental rules | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Douglas County commissioners to consider changes to vacation home rental rules

by Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

A plan to extend vacation home rentals beyond the Lake Tahoe Basin is scheduled to go before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

County commissioners won't hear the request until 3 p.m. at their meeting in the CVIC Hall in Minden.

While expanding the ordinance to the rest of the county is the biggest proposed change, there are several measures included in the ordinance rewrite to increase enforcement.

There are currently 490 permitted vacation home rentals at Lake Tahoe, where they are considered an important supplement to available lodging.

Community Development Director Mimi Moss said the average room rate for a vacation rental at Tahoe is $259 a night.

Vacation home rentals are considered a residential use under Douglas County code and are currently prohibited in parts of the county outside of the Basin.

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Instead, Valley residents who seek to rent out space to vacationers have applied and received permits to operate a bed and breakfast, which requires that the owner be on the property.

Under the ordinance, those wishing to conduct a vacation rental apply for a $400 permit and be inspected.

Moss pointed out that the permit fee could be made up in the first two rentals on average.

Vacation rentals pay the same lodging taxes that any other establishment pays, Moss said.

Planning commissioners are recommending against expanding vacation rentals into the East Fork Township.

Frank Godecke pointed out that the rental market in Carson Valley is tight and demand is high.

"Creating vacation rentals in the Valley creates properties that might otherwise be long-term rentals that will now become vacation housing," he said.

"I don't think that's an appetite we should have."