VHR settlement goes to Douglas County
STATELINE, Nev. — Revisions to Douglas County’s vacation home rental ordinance that was challenged in federal court are scheduled to be introduced today.
The revisions were developed as part of a settlement conference between the plaintiffs and the county making several changes to the ordinance.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Doug Ritchie told members of the Vacation Home Rental Advisory Committee that a proposed settlement agreement was reached and will go before commissioners.
Typically, commissioners don’t take public comment during an ordinance’s first reading. A final reading and hearing would be Jan. 6.
Among the changes are that legal entities, such as family-owned corporations may hold a vacation home permit.
Those corporations with permits when the ordinance was approved are grandfathered in. The revisions include allowing those who reside together to hold a VHR permit together. Also grandfathered in are vacation home rentals with multiple permits as long as they renew and comply with the ordinance. Both cases would allow permits to be renewed until Dec. 31, 2031. No new multiple permits will be granted.
A requirement for $1 million liability insurance is expected under the new rule that covers the rental of the home.
A maximum fine of $20,000 will remain in the ordinance for those who deliberately flout vacation home rental rules.
Ritchie said that’s reserved for those who deliberately rent their homes without a permit and show no intention of getting one.
He said that anyone who makes a mistake on a permit application will be allowed to correct it, but if there’s some indication the application was purposely falsified, an applicant could face the maximum penalty.
Occupancy limits would change under the new version of the ordinance with two people per bedroom plus two more.
Two Tier 3 permits approved last week for seven-bedroom homes on Tina Court in Stateline would allow 14 occupants, or 16 after the ordinance is approved.
Tier 3 are the largest vacation home rentals and require a special use permit to operate. The VHR Committee met for seven hours last week hearing a half dozen requests. The committee split on two Kent Way homes and denied a request on Paiute Drive, all in Zephyr Cove. A request on Lincoln Circle was delayed after neighbors pointed out that the use was prohibited by a deed restriction.
Vacation home rentals have never been allowed in Carson Valley, where a special use permit is required to operate a bed and breakfast. The key difference is that the property owner must be on site for a bed and breakfast.
A $5,000 fine was upheld against a homeowner operating a vacation home rental at the base of Kingsbury Grade in the Valley.
The owner said he didn’t realize that any permit was required, citing the county’s lack of a home occupation permit.
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