Cave Rock VHR ban debate rehearsal for next effort

On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss an ordinance that will ban vacation home rentals north of Cave Rock.

They are also discussing a plan to reduce the number of rentals in Lincoln Park just south of Cave Rock.

Last week, planning commissioners voted 7-0 against recommending the change citing a petition being circulated by Jeanne Shizuru to ban vacation home rentals in all of Douglas County’s residential neighborhoods. That petition would also allow up to an estimated 160 vacation home rentals in East Fork Township’s neighborhood commercial zoning.

The Record-Courier published opinions from both Commission Danny Tarkanian and Shizuru on the editorial page of today’s edition.

Opponents to the ban have zeroed in on Tarkanian’s connection to Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada Vice President and Glenbrook homeowner Larry Ruvo.

The Record-Courier has received texts and emails between Ruvo and Tarkanian that were obtained by ban opponents in preparation for Thursday’s debate that might explain Gardner’s sudden shift in position.

In a July 20 text, Tarkanian tells Ruvo that Gardner agreed to vote for a ban of VHRs north of Cave Rock, “if we give current permit holders five years to divest their interest in exchange of me not pursuing the initiative.”

Around that same time, Tarkanian was recruiting candidates to run against Gardner, who has been clear he intends to run for re-election.

Ruvo is a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, donor and Rebels booster from when Tarkanian’s father was coach.

“Mr. Ruvo has been a friend of my mother and father for many years,” Tarkanian said. “I had not known Mr. Ruvo on a personal basis until I moved to Gardnerville and was elected County Commissioner.”

Neither Tarkanian’s campaign finance reports or Ruvo’s donations indicate any donations.

“I have never received a campaign contribution from him,” Tarkanian said of Ruvo in an email to The Record-Courier. “I received donations from many different law firms, including the one you mentioned in email.”

In the communications between the two men, Tarkanian said that while the petition drive being conducted by Jeanne Shizuru would ban vacation home rentals across the county, there’s no guarantee that would occur.

“…if we lose vote (sic) there is no ban of VHRs,” Tarkanian said. “Realtors and Property Managers spent $500,000 to defeat initiative in S. Lake Tahoe to ban VHRs and still lost but it was very close. Douglas’ initiative will include the Carson Valley residents who have no experience with VHRs.”

The county also received letters from Pittman Terrace residents in favor of the Cave Rock ban.

Gardner was the focus of a video produced by Glenbrook VHR owner Rick Ray and posted to social media.


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