Nov. 1, 2023, R-C Letters to the Editor

Implications of VHR petition


If the county does away with VHRs, the funds they generate will also go away, as will jobs. The code compliance positions will be eliminated. The annual inspection fees for fire inspections will go away and the fire district will have to eliminate a position, the same with the sheriff. County administrative positions dealing with VHRs will be eliminated. The company in Fresno, Calif., who collects the fees and administers compliance will lose its contract. Oh, and by the way, why is Douglas County using an out of state agency to manage VHR billing? We must have an accounting firm locally that can perform that task. The restrictions imposed on VHRs will not carry over to long term tenants resulting in chronic violations with no recourse.

Jim Martin


VHR Initiative Misleading


The Vacation Home Rental petition currently being circulated deserves careful

examination before citizens consider signing. The initiative is both misleading and may have an adverse effect on Douglas County finances.

The petition’s title, “Amending Douglas County Development Code Title 20,

Section 20.622”, is purposefully deceptive.

Could anyone determine what it actually does? A more accurate title would be

“Eliminate Vacation Home Rentals (VHRs) in Tahoe, but allow more than 150 in the Carson Valley.

Residents should study this matter carefully before deciding whether to sign the petition or not. Unfortunately not only is the title of the petition vague, but the statement of effect is materially misleading.

Materials prepared by the circulators offer the supposition that the cost to the

County would be $0. But our Board of Commissioners determined the direct cost of passing the initiative would be $2.1 million — annually. Subsidiary costs bring the total to over $5 million. And the tourist spending lost from visitors, which adds to our sales tax income, could mean millions more in lost revenue.

It is unfair for those preparing the initiative to make any comparisons to Measure T, a 2018 proposal in the city of South Lake Tahoe. That measure still allows over 500 VHRs. The one proposed for Tahoe Township would eliminate all but one VHR. And those who use fiscal years 2019-20 or 2020-21 to compare revenue from VHR taxes don’t account for the loss of revenue in those years from the COVID shutdown or the Caldor Fire.

I support the initiative process, but only when it is used constructively, and the

petition information fully and accurately describes the initiative. A 2006 court case, Nevadans for Nevada v Beers, clearly set this standard. This and other cases are fair warning that the current petition is flawed. Those that have already signed may withdraw their support by completing the form on the Clerk’s website.

While I’m a member of the Planning Commission, these are my individual views.

Kirk Walder

Zephyr Cove

Volunteering important


I am writing to highlight the vital importance and undeniable privilege of being a community volunteer. In a world often marked by division and discord, volunteering stands as a powerful force for unity, change, and social progress. It is a privilege that transcends boundaries and allows us to be part of something much greater than ourselves. We have the ability to make a substantial investment in the health of our community and the people who live in it. 

The intrinsic rewards of volunteering are immeasurable, as it provides an opportunity to connect with diverse groups of people, develop new skills, and witness the tangible results of collective efforts. Furthermore, volunteering brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment that often eludes us in our fast-paced, materialistic society. When we volunteer, we are able to give back to a community that has served us well. We have the privilege of contributing to a better tomorrow, whether it’s by supporting local charities, mentoring young minds, cleaning up our environment, or assisting those less fortunate. In these actions, we find meaning and a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve. We have the ability to improve the quality of our schools, recreation programs, parks, elder care, and literacy. 

Community volunteers also play a crucial role in bridging gaps and nurturing understanding among different sections of society. By working alongside people from various backgrounds, we gain valuable insights and challenge our preconceived notions. This, in turn, leads to a more empathetic and inclusive society, reinforcing the idea that volunteerism is not only a privilege but also an essential tool for social unity.

Volunteering is an investment in oneself, as much as it is in the community, allowing individuals to learn new skills, gain experience, and bring people together. The knowledge and abilities acquired through volunteering often prove to be invaluable in both personal and professional domains. Selfishly, you can reduce stress, increase your mood, and foster emotions of optimism, joy, faith and self-worth, while obtaining both soft and hard skills that recruiters are looking for while hiring their workforce. 

In conclusion, the privilege of being a community volunteer cannot be overstated. It is an opportunity to make a real difference in the world, connect with others on a profound level, and contribute to the betterment of society. Volunteering is not limited by age, background, or expertise, and it enriches both the giver and the recipient. It is a priceless gift that keeps on giving, and I encourage everyone to seize this privilege, embrace it, and help create a brighter future for all.

Scott O. Doerr



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