Future of South Lake Tahoe's vacation rentals in question with Measure "T"

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    The future of more than 1,400 vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe is in question as people head to the polls to vote on Measure T.

    The measure aims to eliminate most vacation home rentals in residential zones in the city of South Lake Tahoe.

    However, under the measure, permanent residents of the residential zones could get a permit to rent their home for up to 30 days each year.

    Measure T does not pertain to roughly 450 vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe's tourist core.

    The Tahoe Neighborhoods Group was able to get more than 1,600 signatures on their petition to get this measure onto this year's election ballot.

    Peggy Bourland, who is with the Tahoe Neighborhoods Group, says passage of Measure T could have an impact on the region's housing crisis.

    Bourland says it could free up housing for people who want to live in the community full-time as well as the abundance of rentals has changed the character and livability of the neighborhoods, making them more like a business and less like a community.

    “This measure would not be on the ballot if there wasn’t a problem with these vacation rentals in these areas,” said Bourland.

    Those in opposition to Measure T say vacation rentals are vital for the city's economy. Sharon Kerrigan, who opposes the measure, says eliminating the roughly 1,400 vacation rentals would create a loss of about $100 million dollars annually.

    Kerrigan says that figure is based on a 2016 tourism study through the Lake Tahoe Visitor's Authority.

    " [It would impact] all of the revenue to the community -- three million in taxes to the city. They would have to reduce services. They would have to cut jobs. They would have to find a way to make up for that shortfall," said Kerrigan.

    Kerrigan adds the passage of Measure T would also have a negative impact on the people who rely on the vacation home rentals for their job, like housekeepers.

    To read the full ballot measure, click here.

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