Attention Skiers: South Lake Tahoe Bans Short-Term Rentals

The narrowly-passed law applies to vacation home rentals in residential areas.

Lake Tahoe in the winter. (Courtesy Image)

With just 58 votes pushing it passed the finish line on Tuesday, a ballot measure to ban all short-term rental in residential areas of South Lake Tahoe is set to go into partial effect by next month.

Measure T applies to residential areas outside the tourist zone that tends to stretch from Ski Run Boulevard to Stateline along Highway 50. Previous rules on short-term rentals allowed 400 inside that core and 1,400 outside.

By Dec. 31 2021, vacation home rentals for those 1,400 permitted rentals will cease to exist or pay a $1,000 per-violation fine. Occupancy and parking limits are also included and those impacted have until Jan. 7 to hold proper permits, according to South Lake Tahoe city spokesperson Chris Fiore.

Under the impending rules, applicable homes will be limited two people per bedroom up to 12 people. Permanent residents living outside the tourist core for a majority of the year are exempt from the crackdown. 

El Dorado County Elections Department finalized election results on Tuesday that marked a narrow win for the contentious measure. City residents with the Tahoe Neighborhoods Group placed the measure on the ballot to preserve the peace of their homes from a flow of visitors, as well as opening up long-term housing for the city.

A “No on T” campaign had about $365,000 in contributions with the help from outside groups like the National Association of Realtors and Expedia, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported.

Fiore says they had already been enforcing occupancy inside and outside the tourist core but that the next step is to monitor advertisements for short-term rentals. City officials will have to contend with an expected loss of revenue from tourist taxes, which has brought in more than $3 million in recent years.

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