Vacation home rentals will alter Carson Valley
The county officers seem intent on marching forward to expanded Vacation Home Rental in the Eastfork Township as well as Tahoe Township. Vacation Home Rental has been a huge problem from New York City to San Francisco. Have these County officers not heard the disruption this commercial use creates in neighborhoods which adversely affects quality of life in residential zones? Affordable Housing, an immediate problem in Douglas County, is also greatly damaged to this use conversion.
In public forums the County Commissioners have stated that if Tahoe VRBO is allowed then the Valley must also be allowed as they are “no different.” Apparently no examination of demographics has been fielded. In perusing the US Census Bureau documentation this “no difference” ideology is shown to be an incorrect assumption.
Countywide: 23,671 homes — 46,997 residents
Tahoe Township — 4,852 homes — 5,402 residents
Gardnerville-Minden — 13,202 homes — 30,220 residents (may include zip-code addresses out in the county)
The Ranchos, Johnson Lane and Indian Hills have about this same ratio of homes/residents.
These numbers show we are family residential in the valley while at the lake the norm is greatly “second home,” statistically. To consider the areas “equal in standing” for VRBO is a disservice to the sanctity of our homes and neighborhoods here in the Valley and an expansion of VRBO in Tahoe will degrade those neighborhoods as well.
A few property owners will reap great financial reward while the residents will suffer the consequences. We residents are property owners, as well, and do not we have a right of enjoyment of our homes and neighborhoods without rife commercial Inn-keeping operations in residential zones?
Case in point: I had an illegal AirBnB next to me in the Jacks Valley area at which I logged 116 night stays in 12 days — including the couple who own the home. This will become the norm if the county opens their residential zoning to include this abusive and intrusive use and will be setting the course for certain negativity affecting our community relationships, road safety, quality of life, affordable housing needs, water use and septic nitrate loading, security in our homes and our relationships with our neighbors. as well as assaulting the viability of current local Hotel business.
The county does have provision for application for a Conditional Use Permit for B and B operations here in the Eastfork Township. Each application is individually vetted for suitability to that specific location and affected residents are noticed of that application. Instead, the County has hired an outside agency (for $94,500) to oversee the expansion of VRBO from approximately 500, in Tahoe, to over 1,800, countywide, and, apparently, has intention of undoing the current ban on short-term rentals in Eastfork Township.
The idea of wholesale VRBO is wrong for the Valley and should be limited at the Lake, as well. The Commissioners should be advised to regard the problems VRBO has caused across this nation, as well as neighboring towns, and allow the 47,000 Douglas residents to retain the privacy and peace of the neighborhoods in which we have chosen to buy our homes and live. Property Rights do not just belong to those seeking to commercially leverage their properties.
Tim Stevenson is a Jacks Valley resident