Lawsuits cost of doing business


As the county works its way through one federal lawsuit, there may be a couple of more on the horizon.

The ink on the vacation home rental ordinance was barely dry before several Lake Tahoe residents headed straight to federal court and obtained a partial restraining order.

It’s true that ordinance was complicated. It had to deal with a variety of issues, including letting some Tahoe residents enjoy their homes in peace without a party going on next door every weekend while still allowing others to rent out their homes to visitors.

Thank goodness commissioners didn’t try to extend the ordinance into Carson Valley, but that might be in the cards.

We hate to presage litigation, but we doubt many folks would be surprised if the developer of Stoneridge Villa decided to file suit in District Court to overturn the annexation of the project.

As even the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office pointed out, without trash service, there isn’t much the town will do for the project except collect property taxes.

And there are a couple of threatening letters from attorneys dealing with the change in the growth ordinance. That might just be a little legal chin music, but at least one of them has filed suit against the county in the past.

Litigation is part of the price of doing business for government in this day and age, so it’s easy to make a lot out of the challenges.

But sometimes there can be far reaching effects from losing in court.

It was a loss in court that gave Virginia Ranch a leg up and may result in one of Carson Valley’s larger projects.

Because of that loss, the county has very little control over when that segment of Muller Parkway is built. We’ve argued in the past that same lawsuit is responsible for Douglas County’s second Walmart.

So when things go wrong, they go really wrong. Only time will determine whether the county’s new rules will stand up in court.


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