My View: Notes from the Front Row ™: Local Musings
There has been a lot of discussion about what to do about property rentals with the City of South Lake Tahoe. This issue has been going on for years and no one seems satisfied, though I am not sure anyone ever will be.
The problem is complex, property rental units have increases primarily because the middle class moved away when the casino industry collapsed and the lodging industry has not been able to keep pace with the quality visitors now demand. As I have written previously we have an excess number of units we will never have demand for. So what’s happened is tourist have moved to rental units in the neighborhoods while the less fortunate including those who are poor suffering mental health issues etc. have moved into motels which in many cases are also being used as transitional housing. This is all the results of a flawed policy by TRPA which did not allow for reasonable redevelopment that small owners could afford.
So where does this leave us now? There are some that are proposing a ban on rental units or a temporary restriction on new units both of these are bad ideas as they fail to consider the unintended consequences which is often the case here in South Shore. I know some locals are looking for action but what we don’t need is any more interference in the market place by well-intentioned city policy that will be a problem in the long run. What we do need is to understand this problem will never be fixed unless and until the city develops a policy to deal with the excess motel units that need to be removed, and until the remainder are either updated or redeveloped creating lodging that consumers want to stay in and transitional housing is developed for those in need. Again, beware of loud voices that have failed to consider the unintended consequences. This problem has not been fully analyzed and before the city makes any policy changes they need to fully understand the issues from an economic and community context.
• I attended the mental health summit last month and was glad to see all parts of the community in attendance. There is much more to be done, not much money to do it with but it starts with recognizing the problem exists. More to follow.
The Big Picture
• It’s that time again when every want-to-be politician starts thinking about running for President. We know the names Clinton, Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Paul etc., etc. For my money I think I am only going to even look at candidates who have been governors. I just don’t think senators are qualified. I want someone who has actually solved problems not talked about them and legislated them.
• Another month another tragedy. This time it’s those poor passengers on Germanwings Airlines who were killed when they co-pilot flew them into the side of a mountain. I hope there is a special place in hell for this mass murderer.
• Given the poor winter, it’s time to start think about summer and while we will be on high alert for fires and the mayhem they cause, it does offer locals an opportunity to start enjoying the summer activities they enjoy a bit early. When life gives you lemons make lemonade as they say.
It’s a Wrap
• Good job to the Tahoe Chamber of the recent Business Expo. It’s great to see all the local businesses come out and offer services and samples and great to see the locals come out to eat, drink, socialize and find out about all those businesses. Well done.
Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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