SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.—The virtues of vacation home rentals continue to be discussed in South Lake Tahoe, the municipality where the Heavenly Ski Area is located.
Some 1,800 licenses have been granted for vacation rentals, some 1,400 of them in residential districts, says John Hitchcock, the city’s planning manager. Complaints there, as in most ski towns, revolve around noise, trash and parking, he says.
What makes some neighbors cranky is that if there’s a problem, they don’t know who to call. In traditional arrangements, professional property managers can be called when 12 guys host a party that lasts until 3 a.m. and then leave garbage scattered out on a lawn. In the case of a vacation home rental, the owner of the unit may be far more inaccessible.
The Lake Tahoe News reports that just a minority of the people who showed up at recent meetings support the city staff’s position of treating vacation home rentals as a land-use issue. Repeatedly, those testifying about vacation home rentals said enforce the rules on the books and then decide if there’s a problem.
Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the Colorado Association of Ski Towns was issued last week. The 57-page study reports how jurisdictions from New York City to San Francisco have been addressing this burgeoning component of the sharing economy. The report included specific examination of the experiences of 10 members of the organization, including eight in Colorado and also Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyo.
While there are concerns about long-term housing being shifted into short-term housing, thus squeezing affordable housing stock for local workers, most jurisdictions have moved to embrace the vacation home rentals, as popularized by companies such as Airbnb.