Letter: VHRs contributed to Tahoe’s negative transformation (opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: VHRs contributed to Tahoe’s negative transformation (opinion)

I am a 20-year Tahoe local who moved here to escape the pollution, traffic, extreme rents and greedy mentality of the Bay. I wanted to immerse myself into a community that was removed from the chaotic life I was to leave behind.

I moved to Tahoe joining a community that centered itself on a love for one another, a passion for the mountains and environment. I came to Tahoe joining a community where wealth was gained through years of climbing and skiing our beautiful mountains.

This was a community not driven by greed, but passion for a life of adventure. For many years Tahoe was the perfect mountain town, but now 20 years later the sad reality is I’m preparing to move again. Tahoe is no longer a mountain town with a unique local identity. In exchange Tahoe has become a cultural extension of the Bay Area.

VHRs are a major contributor to Tahoe’s transformation. VHRs have added thousands of cars to our roads creating gridlock traffic rivaling the Bay. We have astronomical rents for apartments because like the Bay our long-term rental homes are now VHRs. Neighborhood homes I once rented are now VHR hotels.

The city’s answer is low-income housing for locals and neighborhoods for VHRs. Thousands of added tourists from thousands of VHRs are stressing the infrastructure and environment. They have robbed Tahoe of its exclusivity and what was once an escape for tourists is no longer that at all. Tourists are exchanging one busy, hectic environment for another.

Local real estate agents desiring to keep their pockets stuffed with cash are being bank rolled by the National Realtors Association to run a campaign of fear against Measure T.

While we the people lose our community, real estate agents stand to profit from VHRs. They have endless national funding to defeat a local issue brought up by Tahoe loving locals.

Sadly if you took greed out of the equation I imagine Measure T would pass with ease. Sadly the same greed which transformed the Bay is now fast at work in Tahoe and for that I say thanks for the memories.

Ben Larsen

South Lake Tahoe, California

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