Letter: Be careful what you wish for (opinion)
October 8, 2018
Like many home owners in South Lake, I am at times annoyed with vacation renters in my neighborhood.
Prior to the current ordinance, renters would sometimes be a nuisance. In the last year, I've noticed a significant decrease in the noise and overall nuisance factor in my neighborhood.
I've always felt ambivalent about vacation renters, understanding that as a one industry town (tourism), these renters provide jobs and revenue for our local economy, so I get that it's a necessary trade off. Estimates suggest that $80-100 million will be taken out of our local economy, and $2-3 million out of the city's budget annually, if Measure T is passed.
I remember what South Lake was like in 2010-11 at the bottom of the real estate crash. The area around Raleys at the Y looked blighted; there weren't a lot of customers. Many of the business had closed. There were abandoned homes in my neighborhood. South Lake was a tarnished star.
We've recovered. If we take $80-100 million out of our local economy, we may be looking at 2010 all over again, but this time rather than being a victim, we did it to ourselves.
I was having an interesting discussion with one of my neighbors (a renter) about Measure T. When I explained to him that when fully implemented Measure T would drive property values down and eliminate many jobs, he responded, "good, then I can buy a house."
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I commented back, be careful what you wish for. If you don't have a job, regardless of how cheap a house is, you're not going to be buying one.
Measure T is an extreme solution to a problem that we may be managing with the current VHR ordinance, if we just give it some time.
South Lake Tahoe, California
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