Guest column: Whose job is it to monitor VHRs in South Lake Tahoe? (opinion) |

Guest column: Whose job is it to monitor VHRs in South Lake Tahoe? (opinion)

South Lake Tahoe resident Scott Ramirez provided this photo of vehicles parked at a neighboring VHR.
Provided / Scott Ramirez

Recently we had eight cars in the vacation home rental across the street. The house is rated for four cars with a maximum of 10 people.

We reported it this time. We usually do not report violations because it makes us anxious … no one wants to be the “BAD” guy. The call was simple enough and the response was surprisingly quick. Roughly 20 minutes after our call the officer arrived to view the cars parked in the driveway, in the street, in the front yard and along the side of the house.

Entertainingly, car number eight arrived and the occupant entered the house while the officer was questioning the occupants. We believe they were cited and cars started relocating down our street shortly after the officer left.

We are now left with a house full of upset people who are staying across the street from us who have no ties to this community and a selection of cars parked down the street. Will the dozen people across from us react poorly or act like adults and calmly finish their visit?

This final question has our whole house anxious and is the reason we do not usually report violations.

This VHR is an operating business that sees regular visitation. The management company and owner had no knowledge that they had eight cars arrive and had no idea how many people are in the house they are “managing.”

Why is it my family’s job to observe and report the happenings in this private business and why are we wasting valuable police time to enforce rules the so-called management company has ignored? Whose responsibility is it to observe and follow the rules in these private businesses?

Motels have people onsite to ensure limits are followed and yet these businesses are allowed to operate by relying on their neighbors to do their jobs. VHRs are unsupervised businesses that are operating next to people’s homes. Whose responsibility is it to operate these businesses?

We are told Measure T passed but that the city wants to negotiate the implementation. If the city passes an ordinance do the residents get to negotiate the enforcement? The city’s responsibility is the same as the residents, to follow the rules that are voted in. The city’s responsibility is to enforce the will of the voters and yet they want to negotiate the outcome of a measure that was written by locals because of the city’s failure to act.

Whether it won or lost by a single vote or a landslide is beside the point, it did go to a vote and it did pass and it is the rules we are now to follow.

The city’s responsibility, whether it agrees with Measure T or not, is to enforce what was voted in.

If we do not follow our own rules, we may as well not have them.

Scott Ramirez is a South Lake Tahoe resident.

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