Letter: VHRs vs. more affordable housing in South Lake Tahoe
I was present at the latest South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting and witnessed the discussion regarding the latest revisions to the VHR ordinance. The justification for the revisions center around the subject of affordable housing and the defense of available housing in the community.
This has been a topic of discussion in this community for over three decades with little, if any, logical solutions. Neither David nor Sass, who served on the subcommittee of the city council, have any experience as landlords in this community or they might understand why landlords choose to make their properties available as VHRs.
We have seen this community transformed into one that suffers from low-paying jobs, if they are available, with many small businesses that struggle to make ends meet — and therefore business owners who attempt to survive without the need for employees. This, coupled with the fact that property owners who choose not to make their property available to renters, would rather generate income from the economy as vacation rentals. This allows the property owner to avoid the time and effort of managing tenants who, more often than not, abuse the property and fail to pay their rent — exposing them to the California laws for eviction, which becomes a long and tedious, expensive process.
In most cases, VHRs at least have become improved properties that serve a vital purpose in a resort economy. Most are well-maintained and are subjected to more scrutiny than they deserve; ask the visitors that rely on them for their visitation to South Lake Tahoe.
John N. Cefalu
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Editor’s note: According to City of South Lake Tahoe councilman Austin Sass, in response to Cefalu’s letter, he “owned and managed a full-time monthly rental for over 15 years here in South Lake Tahoe.”