Man hit with second $20,000 VHR fine

A week after being fined $20,000 for advertising a short-term rental without a vacation home rental permit, the owner of a home in Lakeridge appeared for a hearing on a preliminary injunction.

District Judge Tod Young took the issue under advisement and said he would issue a written order in the case on Tuesday.

The Lakeridge General Improvement District is seeking to prevent Lincoln Circle resident Matthew Kvancz from renting his home at 1262 Lincoln Circle for less than 60 days.

In October, Young ruled that a deed restriction approved by the district’s residents in 2016 was enforceable.

Kvancz’ attorney Dane W. Anderson argued that enforcing a deed restriction is a private cause of action and like covenants, codes and restrictions and was outside the district’s authority to bring.

“Don’t they have the right to enforce their own rules?” Young asked.

Young asked Lakeridge attorney Richard McGuffin about whether the district could show the irreparable harm required to issue a preliminary injunction.

The other prong to issuing a preliminary injunction is the likelihood that someone will prevail at trial.

Kvancz is the only person to have been fined the maximum $20,000 twice under Douglas County’s current vacation home rental ordinance.

A revision of that ordinance is scheduled to be introduced by county commissioners today.

Kvancz’ second fine was upheld 4-1 by members of the Vacation Home Rental Advisory Board on April 26. He can still appeal the fine to county commissioners, though they upheld the one last year.

While advertising 29-day rentals, Kvancz would allow people to rent his property for one or two weeks. He testified on Tuesday that he was only booking one rental per month.

Even if that was in compliance with county code, it was in violation of the deed restrictions in Lakeridge that were upheld by Young last year.

County Code Enforcement Officer Ernie Strehlow said that Kvancz was advertising for 29-night stays at a rate of $700 a night, but that people who wanted shorter stays should contact him.

He said the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that three rentals were one or two weeks.

Kvancz hasn’t had a valid vacation home rental permit since December 2021 when the county learned that the Lakeridge neighborhood prohibited anyone from renting their property for less than 60 days in 2016 in their covenants, codes and restrictions.

Kvancz was the first person fined $20,000 in April 2022, and is currently the only person to be fined twice for advertising without a permit.

Generally, deed restrictions are implemented by a homeowners association, which must pursue enforcement through civil action since the county has a long policy of not enforcing CC&Rs.

However, the VHR code explicitly prevents anyone living in a deed restricted area from receiving a permit.

Lakeridge district President Andy Huckbody testified on Tuesday he’s made several complaints against Kvanz, whose house in next door.

VHR board member Lauren Romain said one of the reasons the vacation home rental code is so complicated is because people try to circumvent it.

“We have enough issues when we have people pushing the envelope like this,” she said. “It makes it bad for all of us.”

Romain asked why the fines weren’t levied for each of the three violations.

New board member Glen Wolfson said he wasn’t quite prepared to fine someone the maximum on his first day, suggesting that it be halved. He was the lone vote against fining Kvancz.

Young said he believed that Kvancz was subverting the rules for his own benefit at Tuesday’s hearing.


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