SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA- The City has reached an agreement with the plaintiffs (South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group) in the Measure T lawsuit on a limited preliminary injunction. Both parties have agreed to delay the implementation of the new maximum occupancy limits included in Measure T while the case is pending, but all other provisions of Measure T remain in effect. The most significant Measure T provisions prohibit the issuance of new vacation home rental (VHR) permits in residential areas and phase out existing VHR permits in
residential areas by 2021, and these provisions have been and will continue to be enforced by the City while the case is pending. This agreement, reached last week, negates the need for a special hearing originally scheduled for January 24 that could have resulted in a full injunction on all provisions of Measure T.
The City agreed to the limited preliminary injunction in recognition of the fact that many travel and lodging reservations were made under the City’s previous VHR maximum occupancy limits. The immediate implementation of the new maximum occupancy limits would have harmed upcoming visitors, and would also have been difficult for the City to enforce in a fair and effective manner. Importantly, the City respects the will of the Measure T voters and did not agree to a preliminary injunction on the other Measure T provisions that do not create significant immediate hardship.
There are currently approximately 1,340 VHR permits in residential areas of South Lake Tahoe, and these permits are expected to remain active until 2021 (and perhaps longer, depending on the outcome of the Measure T lawsuit). There are also approximately 425 VHR permits in non-residential areas of South Lake Tahoe, and these permits are not impacted by Measure T in any way. All of these VHRs continue to welcome responsible visitors to enjoy South Lake Tahoe.
The Measure T lawsuit filed by the South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group challenges many provisions of Measure T, and the case is likely to be heard later this year by an El Dorado County Judge. The City Council will be discussing the Measure T lawsuit in more detail in the coming weeks and months, and additional guidance will be provided by the City as warranted. In the meantime, the City continues to consult with various stakeholders on both sides of the VHR issue and continues to explore potential strategies to achieve a sustainable compromise on this important community issue.