A permanent ban on short-term vacation rental is coming to South Lake Tahoe.
Voters there approved the controversial Measure T — although just barely, by 58 votes in November.
The ban takes effect in three years, but Measure T also changes the rules this month, limiting the number of people allowed to occupy a vacation home.
Here are five things to know about the vacation rental ban:
1) Who’s affected?
Measure T is directed specifically at some 1,400 short-term vacation rental homes in residential areas of South Lake Tahoe. Starting in 2022, the new ordinance affects those renting out their homes for 30 days or less.
That includes Airbnb and similar marketplaces.
An estimated 400 short-term rental homes inside the city’s commercial tourist corridor along Highway 50 from Ski Run Boulevard to Stateline, Nevada, are exempt.
There is an immediate impact. Measure T cuts in half the number of people allowed in a room from four to two — with no more than 12 allowed in one house. The measure passed largely because of complaints about loud parties inside vacation rental homes.
“I have one right behind me,” South Lake Tahoe resident Don Spicer said. “Last year, the people got up and they were barbecuing at 7 a.m. And the house has a hot tub, and they were out there partying until 12 or like 1 in the morning.”
Drew Pariseau will be directly affected by Measure T. He runs a small business called Mountain Vacation Cleaning.
“When this ban goes into effect, I will lose about 85 percent of my business,” he said. “I won’t be able to make a living. My wife and I have talked and we’ll probably be leaving Tahoe.”
2) How much money is involved?
The city of South Lake Tahoe estimates it will take a $4 million hit from the loss of tourist tax dollars.
3) Who will enforce the rules?
The city of South Lake Tahoe will enforce the new ordinance through the police department.
“If somebody calls to complain, we’re going to respond to that,” said Chris Fiore, communications manager for the city of South Lake Tahoe.
“If you’ve got 20 people in a house where everybody’s being loud, people are going to call and complain and we’re going to respond to that,” Fiore said.
4) How much are the fines?
There are several fines associated with Measure T.
It’s a $250 fine for having too many cars parked at a vacation rental home. The limit is one car per parking space, South Lake Tahoe Police Lt. Shannon Laney said.
The fine is $500 for using a hot tub after 10 p.m.
A noise complaint could set you back $500
Homeowners caught without a permit can be fined $1,000
5) When does the occupancy limit go into effect?
The South Lake Tahoe City Council is expected to certify the election results on Dec. 10.
The new rules limiting occupancy to 12 people in a vacation rental home go into effect 10 days later, Dec. 20, but there is likely to be a grace period for people to adjust to the new rules.
“We plan to have the permits switched over by Jan. 7,” Fiore said. “At that point, we’ll be requiring all the occupancy requirements and parking requirements to be in place.”
The city will also be monitoring how vacation rental homes are marketed.
“We expect that the advertisements for the vacation housing rentals that are currently in effect to be updated to reflect the new requirements that Measure T is asking for,” Fiore added.