Number of South Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals to Drop

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- The days of renting a cabin or a home in one of the City of South Lake Tahoe’s quiet neighborhoods could soon be coming to an end.

Measure T just barely passed Tuesday night with only 58 votes according to the county’s website. Depending on who you talk to it is either great or terrible news for the city.

With some of the most breathtaking views in the state, millions of visitors come to South Lake Tahoe every year.

"I mean you can look around and see just how beautiful this place is," said city spokesman Chris Fiore. "We want people to enjoy that but we also want to respect the people who live here."

But with Measure T passing an estimated 1,800 vacation homes, which are currently for rent in the city, will drop down to just 400 homes in the resort core over the next three years.

"I think it’s bad and I think they needed to let the other restrictions they put in place a year ago have followed through for a few more years to see how it all went," said Meyers resident Kathy Meyer.

The city estimates it will lose close to $4 million in taxes and other fees. But Fiore said police and other officials will respect the voters' wishes.

"From the enforcement perspective what changes a little bit is the advertisements," Fiore told FOX40. "We’re going to be monitoring the advertisements from these vacation housing rentals and make sure they’re in compliance with what Measure T lays out."

With so many hotel rooms in the city, visitors will still have plenty of options.

But with the cost of homes dramatically increasing in the city over the years and developers only building large homes, condominiums and hotel rooms, many feel Measure T was a long time coming.

"To buy a house just for the intention of just renting it out year round is outrageous," said South Lake Tahoe resident Gary Speir.

Speir said he has two jobs but has been forced to live in motel rooms due to a lack of low-income housing.

"Everywhere is hiring out here," Speir said. "People are desperate for employees and because nobody can live here they all have to drive from Carson or Gardnerville or Truckee or wherever they come from."

Still, Speir admitted Measure T is only part of the housing solution.

"Everyone needs to be held accountable for the fact that people don’t have anywhere to live," he said.

The city council plans to meet next Monday to accept the final results of the election. The only way to reverse Measure T is with another ballot initiative.