South Lake Tahoe Residents Fed Up with Rowdy Vacationers

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- Residents in South Lake Tahoe say they are fed up with vacation rental homes turning into party houses.

Sue Smith has been living right nextdoor to a vacation rental just down the mountain from Heavenly. While the natural beauty of her neighbor may seem peaceful, she says at times it feels like she’s living on fraternity row.

“What we have is a lot of bachelor parties, bachelorette and bachelor, and they are up until 3-4 in the morning," Smith said. "I’ve had to ask them, embarrassingly in my bathrobe, to be quiet.”

Weekends seem to be the worst time, and when they leave they attract an even more dangerous guest.

“They don’t understand the issues we have with bears up here, so they’re very sloppy with their garbage,” Smith said.

Smith is not the only one in town having these problems.

At the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday night, so many people came to city council’s chambers the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department had to shut it down.

“That was a first for me,” said Jim Drennan with the fire department.

The room is only supposed to have up to 112 occupants, but firefighters say the crowd was way beyond that.

“If you count the room itself, 150, 175 and then at least 100-150 out front,” Drennan said.

Nothing would have been passed at the meeting  and the board was supposed to be discussing the topic of vacation rentals, considering new ordinances on putting a cap on occupancy, addressing noise concerns and increasing violation fees.

All were ideas Smith hopes keep her from having to come outside at 3 in the morning ever again.

“One summer I was just out there every single weekend asking them to be quiet at 3 o’clock in the morning,” Smith said.

The meeting will be rescheduled. So far, the county has not found a venue big enough. It is reaching out to the local school district to find a gym.

Once they find a spot the county must give 72 hours notice to the public before holding the meeting.