The June 28, 2023, R-C Letters to the Editor

Vacation Home Rental petition


As far as I can remember, Lake Tahoe has always been one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world. For many decades, Vacation Home Rentals in the Tahoe Township (Lake Tahoe area of Douglas County) have been enjoyed by travelers far and wide. The experience of a VHR for families and those seeking solitude offers an alternative to the experience of staying in a hotel or motel. Although VHRs were regulated by Douglas County, until recently many VHR owners ignored these regulations, and infractions were not always enforced. Of course, VHRs have never been permitted in the East Fork Township and specifically, they are prohibited by ordinance (the “law”). 

In the Tahoe Township, many VHRs are in single family residential neighborhoods. Two years ago, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) sanctioned a “Citizens Advisory Board” (CAB) comprised of VHR owners, property managers, and non-VHR owners to study the issues associated with VHRs. A detailed report with specific recommendations was submitted to the BOCC which then enacted amendments to the VHR ordinance including new life-safety requirements, a revised fee structure, stiffer fines and adding sufficient staff to deal with code enforcement.

The fees now collected from the permitting of VHRs exceed $1,000,000 annually and pay for a program manager, two sheriffs deputies, two county staff, two code enforcement officers and a deputy district attorney. No taxpayer dollars are expended on permitting and enforcing the VHR program. Hefty fines are now levied and collected against those who violate the VHR ordinances.

The economic impact of VHRs is significant. The Transit Occupancy Tax collected from VHRs at the Lake exceeds $5 million annually. The TOT pays for staff to operate our visitor authority and funds the maintenance of our parks and other recreational facilities. The trickle-down economic benefits include the millions of dollars that VHR tourists spend in local restaurants, retail, gaming, entertainment, and recreational establishments. Douglas County also benefits from additional tax revenue in the form of sales and other taxes collected from tourists. 

Despite the 100s of hours staff and CAB spent in crafting the new VHR ordinance, Commissioner Danny Tarkanian now states that he wants to prohibit VHRs in residential neighborhoods in all of Douglas County. This includes Carson Valley where VHRs are already prohibited. One must wonder about the motivation of Tarkanian’s desire to reverse the BOCC’s new VHR ordinance. 

The prohibition of VHRs will ultimately lead to unregulated black-market rentals. This will undoubtedly result in destroying the peace and quiet in VHR neighborhoods. It will also result in the loss of county tax revenue. Employees will lose their jobs. 

Tarkanian wants to place an initiative on the 2024 general election ballot to accomplish his goal and he needs the help of Carson Valley residents. Tarkanian is seeking volunteers to circulate his petition and gather signatures in the Carson Valley. Stay alert and don’t be fooled by this trickery. Remember, VHRs are an economic benefit to the County and are prohibited in the Carson Valley. 

Larry Walsh


Remembering our mailman


“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This is the informal motto of the U.S. Postal Service. My friend, Terry Hansen, fit that description very well. He delivered our office mail for over 20 years. He was always efficient and fast, but not too fast to forget a smile or a good word or share some good news. Terry had one of those smiles that if you close your eyes and imagine it you can see it clear as day. Terry became fast friends with all of my office staff and he gave us consistency and joy each day. 

Terry also played on our softball team, The Gardnervillains, for many years and he delivered on the mound for us each and every game. And that smile was always ever present whether we were winning a championship or losing a game. He always reminded us to not take the game too seriously. Terry also loved to fish and he loved to volunteer his time with the Carson Valley Kid’s Fishing Derby as well. It was one of his greatest passions to see the kids catch a fish. 

Terry retired a while ago, but we still had the pleasure of speaking to him from time to time and he still delivered. We learned that Terry was facing an uphill battle with cancer. He handled this news as you would expect from him – with grace and hope and fight. I saw my friend for the last time on Friday afternoon. He was surrounded by family and we had a nice little visit that alternated between smiles and frowns and laughter and cries. We talked about work, wives, softball, parents, siblings, kids, fishing and grandkids. I always knew Terry was a family man, but he expressed how much his family meant to him and how thankful he was for each and every one of them. He told me how his granddaughter had just read him a book and how much he loved that time with her. He was very proud of his family. 

It was just like a day in the life of a retired person should be. I planned to see Terry again on Monday, but we learned that Terry had moved on to heaven. I will always be thankful for him and as always during his last days he delivered. He delivered to me what it’s like to face adversity and what we really hold onto when faced with the end of our time. Hold deeply to you family, your friends and your faith. We will see you again Terry – thank you for allowing me to be your friend.

Stacy Trivitt



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