Revised VHR rules hearing today

A revised vacation home rental ordinance could be adopted today by Douglas County commissioners.

There are several changes proposed, some of them more controversial than others.

Reducing density to 15 percent in all neighborhoods except Tahoe Village where it’s 40 percent, prompted a response from a resident of that community south of Kingsbury Grade, saying parking issues complicate rentals.

The higher percentage in Tahoe Village was due to the large numbers of time shares and other rentals.

A provision to allow two extra renters for homes with four or fewer bedrooms would be limited to those 18 years or younger under the new ordinance to encourage families to rent.

Under the new ordinance daytime occupancy for tier 2 and 3 rentals is limited to twice the nighttime occupancy.

The new ordinance will require someone to have a Tier 2 permit for a year before they can apply for a Tier 3.

Among the changes in the ordinance are including the handful of tier 1 vacation rentals in the 600-unit cap, noise monitoring standards, insurance requirements and requirements that rentals with an occupancy of 10 or more have a professional property manager or an owner within an hour.

The new ordinance also includes a means to exclude owners, contacts and property managers who have violated the code from obtaining a vacation rental permit.

Douglas County has been working on revising its vacation home rental ordinance since April 2021.

The original ordinance was approved in June 2021, but was subject to a federal lawsuit filed days before its July 15, 2021, implementation. That was not the only lawsuit to be filed over vacation home rentals in Douglas County.

Homeowners associations in Elk Point and Lake Ridge have sued over rentals, though for opposite reasons.

In Elks Point, residents sued the associations for allowing residents to rent their homes short term in an action that was appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The court ruled that conducting a vacation home rental is allowed in planned communities unless it’s specifically prohibited, which it was not in Elks Point.

A legal battle to prohibit a Lake Ridge resident from renting his property had a hearing in May in Douglas County District Court. In Lake Ridge the homeowners association expressly prohibited rentals of less than 60 days in 2016.

The new ordinance includes a provision that owners are required to notify a homeowners association as a precondition of permit approval. It’s up to the owner to determine what those conditions are, under the proposed revision.

Vacation rentals are prohibited outside of the Lake Tahoe Basin under the ordinance. In East Fork, a special use permit for a bed and breakfast is required to conduct short-term rentals.

While breakfast isn’t necessary for approval, a public hearing before the Douglas County Planning Commission is.

Residents seeking a permit in East Fork, which includes all of Douglas County outside of the Tahoe Basin, are required to be on the property while it’s being rented.


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