Vacation housing rentals could be heading to ballot in Douglas County |

Vacation housing rentals could be heading to ballot in Douglas County

Douglas County may place vacation housing on the ballot in 2020.

After two hours of discussing the future of vacation housing rentals, outgoing county commission chairman Steve Thaler expressed doubts that a task force to discuss the issue would resolve anything.

“We had a roads task force and we didn’t do anything with their recommendations,” he said in closing out the discussion last week.

Thaler is able to count the number of meetings left for his commissionership on one hand before he turns the reins over to John Engels.

Engels said he wanted to see a ban on new rentals across the county, while allowing those current rentals to continue.

Outgoing county commissioner Nancy McDermid argued that concentrating vacation rentals in Tahoe Township was unfair to those residents.

“The idea that it’s OK to have all the VHRs go to Tahoe is not fair and it’s not right, especially in light of what’s happening on the other side of the state line, people are going through a lot more misery before this is over.”

Commissioner Dave Nelson said that rather than a survey he would like to see the issue on the ballot, which Thaler agreed with. Because of the $100,000 cost of a special election it would be 2020 before there was a vote on the issue.

“2020 is not that far away,” Thaler pointed out.

Commissioners said a survey conducted by the county was not that useful.

Staff said that most people agreed that absentee rental owners tended to be the greatest problem.