Time-share amendment passes first hurdle
An amendment to South Lake Tahoe’s time-share moratorium passed the first public hearing without much fanfare as council members discussed the issue among themselves before unanimously approving a second reading for Jan. 6, 1998.
City Manager Kerry Miller stressed to the council that this was enabling legislation only and any proposed time shares that could come out of the amendment if passed next month must go before the council for special-use permit hearings.
Although not mentioned in the amendment, the time-share exemption was brought to the council due to the state line Embassy Suites Hotel’s current financial plight.
The hotel owners, KOAR-Tahoe Partners, L.P., wish to convert hotel rooms to time shares and use the proceeds from the sales to pay off a $52 million bank loan which is now past due.
Although Embassy owner and KOAR partner Steve Kenninger was present at the hearing, he didn’t address the council as there was no opposition from the council regarding moving to a second reading.
Mayor Hal Cole said he didn’t mind moving forward with the amendment as the process through which KOAR must travel to arrive at acceptance of the time-share conversion with regard to special-use permits raised his comfort level.
“I’m more comfortable giving more flexibility to projects rather than being more restrictive,” Cole said.
“The amendment protects the community interests and is consistent with our prior discussions,” Kenninger said after the amendment was passed. “I’m happy the process is moving forward.”
Resident Bill Crawford was the only non-council or non-staff member to speak, asking the council if these amendments are really necessary or if a more general policy should be enacted which would allow the council to address these problems on an individual basis.
“Shouldn’t we have a more sensible policy that doesn’t need to be changed every time someone sneezes?” Crawford asked.
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