South Lake Tahoe, CA- Measure T, the citizen-initiated ballot measure that places additional restrictions on vacation home rentals (VHRs) in South Lake Tahoe, became effective on December 20. City staff began implementation and enforcement of the immediate Measure T provisions on December 20, however, these initial actions have been delayed by a temporary restraining order granted by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith on December 24.
Judge Smith’s order delays enforcement of new maximum occupancy limits included in Measure T until at least January 24, when a preliminary injunction hearing will be held. As such, the City has delayed the re-issuance of all existing VHR permits in residential areas to reflect the new maximum occupancy limits and will continue to enforce the maximum occupancy limits that were in effect prior to Measure T and that are currently listed on all existing VHR permits. The City will continue this approach until at least January 24, and perhaps longer depending on future legal decisions.
A group organized as South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group filed a complaint against the City (as the entity legally responsible for implementing and enforcing citizen-initiated ballot measures) on December 18, and a copy of that complaint may be viewed here. The complaint challenges several provisions in Measure T, and these arguments are expected to be considered by the Court in the coming months. The temporary restraining order applies only to the new maximum occupancy limits included in Measure T, as Judge Smith cited the potential hardship on visitors who made lodging and travel reservations in advance of Measure T’s effective date of December 20. All other provisions of Measure T (including a prohibition on the issuance of any VHR permits for new VHRS in residential areas, and the permitted renewal of existing VHR permits in residential areas only until 2021) remain effective while the case proceeds.
The City welcomes and appreciates our thousands of visitors annually, and works hard to promote the best possible visitor experience. At the same time, the City encourages all VHR owners and their guests to be responsible and respect your neighbors so that everyone can enjoy this exceptional place. City staff will continue to diligently enforce all applicable VHR regulations, including regulations regarding neighborhood disturbances (noise, parking, hot tub use, and others), the maximum occupancy limits in place prior to Measure T, and the new Measure T provisions that are not delayed by the temporary restraining order. The City respects both the will of the voters who approved Measure T and the legal process currently underway, and is working hard to ensure fair and proper implementation and enforcement of VHR regulations.
For questions about VHR permits, please contact City permit staff at 530-542-6071. To report violations, please contact City enforcement staff at 530-542-7474.
Additional guidance to our residents, VHR permit holders, and visitors will be provided by the City of South Lake Tahoe as the case progresses.