Everything you need to know about South Lake Tahoe’s VHR Regulations

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There’s no doubt or question about it: VHR’s a VERY hot and controversial topic in South Lake Tahoe’s community today. Read on below to get further information about the proposed changes ahead!


Notice regarding pending changes to City’s VHR ordinance


On October 3rd after a day of presentations, public comment and Council deliberations, 3 members – Austin Sass, Wendy David and Jason Collin – came to consensus to draft changes to the existing VHR ordinance to enact a cap to limit VHR permits to 1400. 


What this means:

The City expects to have the first reading of the new ordinance October 17th with the second reading and adoption on November 7th.  30 days later the ordinance would go into effect. From now until then, with the required zoning administrator hearing process, only about 45 more permits are likely to be granted. There were 110 permit applications in process as of October 3rd. 



  • Home owner associations may apply for a variance from the distance rule but would still be subject to the overall cap limitation. They must vote for this in accordance to their governing documents.
  • Housing units within the Tourist Core (areas where TAUs are allowed) would be exempt from these rules.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This has not passed and is not law… yet. The final vote by the Council members is set for November 7th.


We made a list of pros and cons regarding the proposed Regulations:

  • VHRs may just  go underground or owners will find a loop hole to the rules
  • The city will still have enforcement responsibility for nuisance issues but will not receive TOT (transient occupancy tax) to fund that effort.
  • Illegal rentals are incredibly difficult to shut down if the owner persists after notices and fines
  • The City is not taking the results of its Socio economic study into account
  • Incoming tax dollars from tourism will decline, causing a reduction to revenue to the City, impacting services such as police, fire, snow removal, parks & recreation.  Historically this means increased taxes for local residents.
  • Today’s vacationers choose to stay in homes, not hotels.  If their preferred lodging is not available, they will choose to visit other resorts and South Lake Tahoe businesses will suffer the consequences.
  • Residents will still be effected if homeowners lease to large groups for longer periods of time on a seasonal basis (“ski leases”).  Instead of having homes occupied a few days each month, residents could be impacted on a daily basis, and VHR rules pertaining to parking and occupancy would not apply. 
  • Small businesses could be affected
  • Safer quieter neighborhoods
  • Preservation of our community and neighborhoods
  • Home/property values could decrease

What do you think about the proposed changes? Should there be a ban? And what else can the city do to make everyone happy in regards to this very controversial topic? Give us your thoughts!

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