The first appeal of a $20,000 fine for operating a vacation home rental without a permit goes before the Douglas County Vacation Home Rental Advisory Committee today.
It has just been a month since the ability to levy the highest fine was approved by Douglas County commissioners with the revision of the code required from a federal lawsuit.
The advisory board meets 1 p.m. today at the Douglas County Courthouse in Minden. The meeting will be streamed at www.douglascountynv.gov
The committee will also discuss two applications for Tier 3 vacation rentals on Quaking Aspen Lane and Meadow Drive at Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe property owner Matthew Kvancz is appealing that fine and another $5,000 fine.
The home at 1262 Lincoln Circle was up for a Tier 3 permit, which would have allowed the owner to rent to a dozen people. Kvancz has had a permit since 2018.
According to the county, it wasn’t until then they were notified that covenants, codes and restrictions in the Lakeridge neighborhood specifically exclude anyone purchasing property after 2016 from renting property. Because the county doesn’t enforce C,C&Rs, staff members didn’t know about the restriction until the home came up for a permit.
County officials said they refunded Kvancz’s renewal fee on Dec. 21. The $5,000 fine was issued a month later after it was discovered the property was still being rented. That fine was upheld by the board last month.
The county issued the $20,000 fine after telling Kvancz he ignored a warning and continued to rent his property.
Kvancz’ attorneys are appealing the fines, saying that a 2016 court case challenging the ban on short time rentals was invalid.
“It is Mr. Kvancz’ position that the 2016 Amendments to the CC&Rs for the Lakeridge subdivision to which the property belongs, and that Douglas County is relying on, are invalid and unenforceable because the Lakeridge General Improvement District lacked statutory authority … to enact and enforce them in the first instance,” attorney Jose Tafoya said.
According to the letter, Kvancz has filed a complaint with the Ninth Judicial Court seeking a judgment that the district doesn’t have the power to enact or enforce deed restrictions under state law.
The law governing improvement districts doesn’t give them the authority for enforcing CC&Rs, his lawyers argue.
That authority lies with neighbors, who must pursue enforcement in civil court, usually through a homeowner’s association.
Vacation rentals are only allowed in the Tahoe Township. In order to provide temporary rentals in East Fork Township, owners must seek a special use permit for a bed and breakfast, which requires a public hearing at the planning commission.
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