Judge blocks part of measure for Tahoe vacation home rentals

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) - Measure T is now in effect for vacation home rentals (VHR) in South Lake Tahoe. The measure passed by a slim margin in November and will eliminate 1,400 VHRs in residential areas by 2021.

A recent complaint by the South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group challenging the provisions of the measure led to the decision by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith to temporarily delay the enforcement of new maximum occupancy limits included in Measure T until January 24.

General Manager of Lake Tahoe Accommodations Joshua Priou says he's hopeful the measure will be overturned.

"I have pretty good confidence and I'm always optimistic unfortunately that the ban will not go through," he says. "I mean several things can happen between now and 2021."

Here are the provisions included in Measure T:
- limits the maximum occupancy to 12 people per VHR
- at least one parking space for every four people in the VHR
- no new VHR permits will be issued if the home is in a residential area
- in 2021 all VHR permits in residential areas will expire
- violation fines up to $1,000 for renters and owners

"The judge basically cited that many people had made reservations both for lodging and travel prior to Measure T for that temporary restraining order, and that was also the city's rationale in their enforcement approach initially," South Lake Tahoe City Manager Frank Rush says.

Priou says his business could lose 80 properties by 2021 under the measure.

"Yeah, that's a pretty big chunk, you know that's about one third of our total inventory so that would be very devastating to our company," he says.