History of Measure T
Measure T – A Citizen Initiative
In 2003, the City first adopted regulations for Vacation Home Rentals (VHRs) in 2003. The City Council then frequently amended the ordinance to address resident complaints pertaining to VHRs. In 2017, the city amended the ordinance to impose stricter fines for parking and noise disturbances and cap the number of VHR permits outside of the Tourist Core at 1,400. However, in 2018 a citizen initiative was proposed to further restrict VHRs in residential areas.
Measure T, the citizen-initiated ballot measure that places additional restrictions on vacation home rentals (VHRs) in South Lake Tahoe, was approved by voters on November 6, 2018. Measure T also prohibited the issuance of new VHR permits in residential areas after it became effective and prohibits renewal of VHR permits in residential areas after December 31, 2020. In 2021, existing VHR permits in residential zones and all VHR permits issued to multi-family properties, regardless of location, will automatically expire on the last day of the month for which a VHR permit would otherwise be eligible for renewal.
Measure T does not affect VHR permits in non-residential areas (tourist core, commercial, recreation) of South Lake Tahoe, and new VHR permits may be issued in non-residential areas.
Measure T – Litigation
A group called South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group challenged Measure T in a lawsuit filed in December 2018, arguing that Measure T violates constitutional rights of property owners. On September 29, 2020, the court issued an order finding most of the constitutional claims to be without merit and eliminating most of the issues from the case.
South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group has appealed the trial court’s order and also requested that the court of appeal issue a stay of Measure T while the appeal is pending. The court of appeal denied the request for a stay on April 7, 2021. Thus, the City will continue to implement the requirements of Measure T including non-renewal of VHR permits in residential areas. The City expects a ruling from the court of appeal on the merits of the case in early 2022.