South Lake Tahoe Residents Split on Vacation Rental Ban Initiative

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- Party houses in South Lake Tahoe are a problem that many are fed up with.

"There’s things worse than bachelor parties going on in some of these houses. I won’t even go into it," said Jerry Goodman with the Tahoe Neighborhoods Group.

The Tahoe Neighborhoods Group has collected enough signatures to get a vacation rental home ban on the ballot in November. It's a ban Goodman says would return the city of South Lake Tahoe's residential neighborhoods to their mountain peace and quiet.

"There could be vacation rentals everywhere else in town, just not in the residential areas," Goodman recommended.

It’s a ballot initiative the city council reviewed Wednesday but one Goodman says ultimately voters will decide on.

"It’s going to be on the ballot, it’s just whether they're gonna do the study first," Goodman said.

But many fear the ban could cripple South Lake Tahoe’s economy.

"Our company would be destroyed," said Joshua Priou, the director of vacation rental company Lake Tahoe Accommodations. "We have about 25 employees that work directly for us.”

Priou says the ripple effect of the ban would be felt beyond the tourism industry.

"Carpet cleaning community, the electricians, the plumbers, the handymen, the AV guy. I mean just about everybody in this community would be affected by it," Priou said.

That’s why some feel voters would never approve the ban.

"There’s a lot of people in this town that are locals that have raised children here and that do want to live in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood like everybody else, and they don’t see vacation rentals as being an issue," said John Daintere.

Daintere owns at least one vacation home he rents out on Airbnb. He feels the solution to noise, parking and garbage problems caused by vacationers isn’t to ban them, but instead to have individual rental homeowners better educate them and for the city to better enforce codes.

"If you police it correctly and write the ordinance correctly you’ll avoid that," Daintere said. "We’ve never had complaints at ours because we monitor them and we take care of them, and we vet the people coming in.”

At the end of the day, the council voted to have a study conducted to see what the impact would be on their city if this did indeed pass.