Douglas County planning panel votes against East Fork vacation rentals
IF YOU GO
What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners
Where: CVIC Hall, Minden
When: 10 a.m. Aug. 2
A proposal to expand Douglas County’s vacation home rentals ordinance outside of the Lake Tahoe Basin was rejected by planning commissioners on Tuesday.
Instead, planning commissioners approved recommending a rewrite of the county’s ordinance that clarifies the rentals are prohibited in the East Fork Township, which includes Carson Valley, Jacks Valley and the south county.
“We are bringing the ordinance forward partly due to the commotion in South Lake Tahoe,” Community Development Director Mimi Moss said. “The ordinance is not strong at all when it comes to enforcement.”
Fees for vacation home rentals were raised last week by Douglas County commissioners in order to pay for additional inspections.
Moss estimated there are 480 vacation home rentals in the Stateline area. With the new $250 fee for renewals and $400 for a new permit, she said that would be sufficient to do additional inspections on the properties and contract with an independent company to automate complaint handling.
Moss said the rewrite does not mirror South Lake Tahoe’s new ordinance, which included $1,000 parking tickets that drew national attention.
Planning commissioners also recommended language that would increase the penalties for repeat offenders, add flexibility to a requirement for bear-proof trash cans and clarify that parties held at private homes were exempt.
Anticipating a much larger turnout, planning commissioners held the meeting in the CVIC Hall in Minden.
Moss said about 80 people turned out at a workshop on the issue held in Stateline.
Carson Valley residents Margaret Pross and Jim Madsen spoke against expanding the use to the rest of the county, and planning commissioners agreed.
Several Lake Tahoe residents spoke about the ordinance.
Lake Tahoe Vacations’ Heidi Gunter said renters don’t know how to work the bear-proof cans.
Her company has them keep their trash in a mud room or garage until it’s picked up to keep the bears out.