Vacation rentals draw divided response |

Vacation rentals draw divided response

Staff and News Service Reports

The apparent success of an El Dorado County ballot measure eliminating vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe neighborhoods could provide a roadmap for Douglas residents who oppose expanding rentals into the East Fork Township.

According to unofficial results, Measure T passed by a slim margin of 113 votes.

The question, put on the ballot by a citizen-led effort, asked voters if they wanted to eliminate vacation home rentals outside the tourist core and commercial areas in three years, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

The measure does come with a small caveat in that it provides full-time residents the ability to rent out their home up to 30 days per year. Any future changes need to be put to a vote of the people.

While a 46-percent majority of 1,010 Douglas County residents who took an online survey said they favored vacation rentals be allowed countywide, nearly a quarter opposed them entirely and another 24 percent said they should be limited to the Tahoe Township.

Operating a vacation rental outside of the Tahoe Township is currently not permitted under Douglas County Code, however 449 of the respondents (approximately 45 percent) indicated they were unaware of the prohibition in East Fork Township, which includes all of the county outside the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Respondents were also split on whether there should be a cap on the number of vacation rentals, with 49 percent supporting a cap in the Lake Tahoe area while 51 percent opposed it; 51 percent would support a cap if rentals are allowed countywide while 49 percent would oppose a cap. The concept which received the most support was “allowing owners to rent rooms out of their homes as short-term rentals,” which was supported by 65 percent of the respondents and opposed by only 34 percent.

Responses have been released by the county and are available at

County Commissioners are expected to discuss short term rentals at their Thursday meeting, including whether the VHR program should be extended to the East Fork Township.

For more information about the Douglas County vacation home rental permit process, or to obtain a copy of Douglas County Code Chapter 20.622, “Vacation Rentals in the Tahoe Township,” contact the VHR Division of Community Development at 775-782-6214. To report a problematic VHR property, call the 24/7 hotline at 775–234–0404, or report the complaint online at .