Douglas County proposes new vacation rental teeth
if you go
What: County Commissioners discuss new VHR ordinance
When: 3 p.m. Thursday
Where: CVIC Hall, Minden
A vacation rental located on Bonnie Drive in Stateline was the scene of a drunken party involving minors July 3.
Douglas County deputies responded to the address at 10:04 p.m. after receiving complaints about a loud party.
Of the two dozen people inside the party, only three were older than 21, and they weren’t staying there.
The two men who rented the place were 20 years old and told deputies they’d supplied the alcohol.
Douglas deputies issued 22 citations for minors under the influence. According to a report, some partiers had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit to drive had they been legal to drink alcohol at all.
County officials confirmed that the Bonnie Drive address had a permit as a vacation rental, and that the owner has been notified of the noise disturbance.
Community Development Director Mimi Moss said conditions added to the permit included that no one under the age of 21 may rent the unit and that minors must be supervised by a legal adult.
Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss modifications to the county’s vacation home rental ordinance that increases penalties and will make it easier to enforce those penalties.
Also before the commission is whether to expand the ordinance into the East Fork Township, where vacation rentals have been prohibited.
Tahoe residents have shared horror stories about incidents involving vacation rentals, including finding bonfires in the middle of the night and drunken parties.
But more typical are issues with parking and garbage.
One resident said that there are four vacation rentals on his block.
“I feel a loss of privacy, often excessive noise, overcrowding of people and vehicles plus comings and goings at all hours of the day and night,” Tahoe resident Gary Richert said. “People on vacation seem to feel entitled to behaviors which probably they don’t practice in their own homes.”
Valley resident Gail Finkelstein wrote the county in opposition to expanding vacation rentals to Carson Valley.
She said she lived next to a vacation rental at South Lake Tahoe for 15 years.
“The garbage was a huge issue and bears and coyotes were very aware of the meal available there, but that was just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
Vacationers would wander onto their property at will, despite signs and barriers.
“One time I came home to two young men lighting firecrackers and stuffing them in beer bottles in my driveway,” she said. “Children … would enter our old well shack which contained a non-functioning well, many black widow spiders and a rowdy nest of yellow jackets.”
Under the revision to the code, the vacation rental ordinance would be moved to Title 20, which allows the county to place a lien on someone’s house to ensure fines and fees are paid.
The new ordinance would also require safety inspections of rentals.
County commissioners are scheduled to hear the first reading on the ordinance after 3 p.m. today at the CVIC Hall in Minden.
The Douglas County Planning Commission and Minden Town Board both recommended limiting vacation rentals to the Tahoe Township.