El Dorado County looks at changes to vacation home rental policy | SierraSun.com

El Dorado County looks at changes to vacation home rental policy

Claire Cudahy

As the city of South Lake Tahoe attempts to beef up its vacation home rental regulations, El Dorado County is following suit.

El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel, District 5, and Supervisor Michael Ranalli, District 4, are the two board members on the ad hoc committee tasked with addressing vacation home rental (VHR) issues in the unincorporated areas of Lake Tahoe, as well as other parts of the county like Apple Hill.

“We’re going to work with staff and related departments to look at and research other jurisdictions and study what’s worked and what hasn’t,” said Novasel. “We are looking at everything from a total ban to not doing anything.”

They’ve met twice so far.

El Dorado County first adopted its VHR policy in 2004. The ordinance established a permitting process, an occupancy level of two per bedroom plus four, and noise and parking restrictions. It also required a local contact or property manager to respond to violations when notified by the sheriff’s office. Four violations within a 12-month period could result in a permit revocation.

In 2016, the code was amended to prohibit the use of outdoor hot tubs between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and require online VHR rental ads to include the Transient Occupancy Registration Permit Number.

Novasel said the county is following South Lake Tahoe’s VHR amendment process with interest, and it could very well impact what is done in El Dorado County.

At a public meeting held by Treasurer-Tax Collector Cherie Raffety on Wednesday, Nov. 1, tensions were high as county residents expressed frustration over trash, noise and parking associated with VHRs. There were calls for a ban, regulations to reduce clustering, no warnings for violations, better owner and renter education, and increased enforcement. Members of the VHR industry were also in attendance to educate on their best practices, including decibel meters and emails to renters on bear awareness and other regulations ahead of visits.

It’s unclear when — or if — El Dorado County will move forward with amendments to the code.

There are currently around 840 active VHR permits in Lake Tahoe portion of El Dorado County.

“We are just in the beginning of the process right now,” said Novasel. “Obviously it’s an evolving situation and we want to make sure we get a hold of it as well as we can.”

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