Vacation Home Rental Survey

Results of Vacation Home Rental Survey Publicly Available
Posted on 11/07/2018

At the direction of the Board, an online survey regarding vacation home rentals (“VHRs”) in Douglas County was conducted in October using OpenGov Town Hall. There were 1,010 survey responses received, which equates to more than fifty hours of public comment. Douglas County would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate.

 

Operating a VHR outside of the Tahoe Township is currently not permitted under Douglas County Code, however 449 of the respondents (approximately 45%) indicated they were unaware of the VHR prohibition in the valley. Responses to whether the VHR program should be expanded County-wide into the East Fork Township were split. Approximately 47% responded they would like to see vacation rentals allowed County-wide, however 24% responded VHRs should be allowed only in the Tahoe Area and another 25% stated they are against VHRs anywhere in the County.

 

Respondents were also split on whether there should be a cap on the number of VHRs: 49% support a cap in the Lake Tahoe area while 51% opposed it; 51% would support a cap if VHRs are allowed County-wide while 49% would oppose a County-wide cap. The concept which received the most support was “allowing owners to rent rooms out of their homes as short term rentals,” which was supported by 65% of the respondents and opposed by only 34%.

 

The survey responses are now available to the Board of County Commissioners and the public and can be viewed here. A summary of the survey responses appears at the beginning of the report, followed by the survey questions and each individual survey received. Due to the length of this document, County staff created a shorter document containing the text of all comments provided in response to Question 12, “If you do not support short term rentals, please check the reason why- Other” and Question 13, “Do you have any other comments/concerns?” Those comments are also available here.     

 

The Board of County Commissioners is expected to discuss short term rentals at their upcoming November 15th meeting, including whether the VHR program should be extended to the East Fork Township. In response to survey indications of public support for owner-occupied short term rentals, the Board may also consider alternatives to the VHR program in the valley, such as expanding Special Use Permits (“SUPs”) for owner-occupied bed and breakfasts (“B&Bs”). SUPs require notice to neighbors and a public hearing before the Planning Commission for approval, which is not required to obtain a VHR permit. B&Bs are currently prohibited in all Single Family Residential districts below half acre, however allowing B&Bs in more zoning districts would allow valley homeowners to generate income from empty bedrooms on a case-by-case basis.      

 

For more information about the Douglas County vacation home rental permit process, or to obtain a copy of Douglas County Code Chapter 20.622, “Vacation Rentals in the Tahoe Township,” please contact the VHR Division of Community Development at 775-782-6214. To report a problematic VHR property, please call the 24/7 hotline at 775–234–0404, or report the complaint online at www.hostcompliance.com/tips .

 

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