Planning commissioners to hear VHR ordinance on Monday

Changes to Douglas County’s vacation home rental ordinance are scheduled to go before planning commissioners on Monday.

The planning commission’s meeting was continued after a brief meeting on Tuesday after the county closed offices due to an impending storm.

One of the concerns residents have expressed since the committee completed its work has been the reduction of the occupancy of smallest vacation home rentals from four to two.

That may be an artifact of the change from the former three-tier system to a five-category system.

“Current code has a tier 1,2,3 – the “plus 2” provision is applicable only to tier 2 up to 4 bedrooms,” said Vacation Home Rental Program Manager Ernie Strehlow. “(The) thinking is that a tier 1 is a resident host and it rents only up to four, so its not applicable. Tier 2 provisions up to 4 bedrooms or a max occupancy of 10. If a renter uses the “plus 2” option then how many cars plays into this number. If they choose not to use this provision then, based on the settlement last year, cars cannot determine occupancy.”

Strehlow said the proposed changes include a specific category for those rentals with resident hosts, which is essentially the present Tier 1.

“The same rules apply as today,” he said. “Tier 1, 2, 3 is the current tier 2. Occupancy is broken out in this version. The difference would be there would be no option for the “plus 2” provision. Tier 4 is the current tier 3 so its basically the same and never had the “plus 2” option.

The new tier 2 would have up to eight people, tier 3 up to 10 and a new tier 4 category would allow 11 or more people.

Both tier 3 and 4 would require a noise monitor, to be at least 100 feet from the nearest neighbor and a local property manager.

A special use permit would be required for a tier 4 vacation home rental. Those permits would only be issued to owners who operated a tier 2 or 3 vacation rental for a year without any issues.

Planning commissioners will make a recommendation to county commissioners about the ordinance. Once it gets to the county commission, it must undergo two readings before it can be approved.

They are also scheduled to tackle changes to the Virginia Ranch Specific Plan and a request by the owners of the former Bing Pit for a zone change.

The planning commission meets 10 a.m. Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse in Minden.


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