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South Lake Tahoe Residents Crowd Into Another Meeting to Voice Concerns About Vacationers

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- In South Lake Tahoe Monday afternoon, there was another almost full house of people asking the county to do something about out of control vacation rental properties.

South Lake Tahoe is an area known for its beauty. Many have moved there for some peace and quiet.

But lately, it’s becoming known for something very different -- a place to party.

“The most dominant issue has been noise," said Michael Ranalli, who sits on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.

More and more wedding groups, birthdays and bachelor and bachelorette parties have been renting out vacation homes. They're disturbing those who live in the neighborhoods full-time.

“If we’re going to have that kind of people in our neighborhood, we need to have 24/7 security. We have people urinating in the yard in the middle of the day,” said one resident at the meeting.

Monday, the El Dorado County Vacation Home Rental Ad Hoc Committee listened to complaints from those residents.

“The Airbnb situation is making them so prevalent and so easy to do that it’s becoming a monster,” another resident said at the meeting.

A similar meeting two weeks ago was shut down by the fire marshal because so many attended. Ranalli, the District 4 supervisor, says a meeting with the full board will be rescheduled in March.

But Monday's ad hoc meeting allowed some who didn’t get a chance to voice their concerns to speak up.

Many were upset the county has allowed out of town investors to build homes that are so large, allowing more and more guests to stay overnight.

“For quite some number of months, we’ve been aware of some very specific changes that we think can help,” Ranalli said.

Ranalli said the board is considering eight new ordinances.

“There may be more by the time we get to the board action, there may be a few less,” he said.

One ordinance would limit the number of occupants. Another demands signs listing the name and number of the vacation home’s owner, so when guests get loud and obnoxious, the landlord can threaten to kick them out.

Another ordinance would address parking, while another demands bear-proof trash cans, since some guests are careless with their garbage.

But some residents who spoke publicly want trespassing included because many homes in the area do not have fences.

“I found people sitting and having lunch on my private property," a Lake Tahoe resident said.

However, the Vacation Rental Alliance warned too many new restrictions could scare away tourists who are so important to Tahoe's economy.

Ranalli says the county is finding the balance by studying other jurisdictions.

“We’ve been looking at about 14 different counties and cities to monitor what they’re doing and what is working,” Ranalli said.

Another public meeting with all the board of El Dorado County Supervisors will take place Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. at South Tahoe Middle School.