WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (NEWS 4 & Fox 11) — Washoe County is adopting ordinances and fees for short-term rentals to address issues including parking, life-safety or noise and occupancy limits..
The Board of County Commissioners for Washoe County held a public hearing in their meeting on March 23 to adopt ordinances related to short-term rentals (STRs) and to adopt the fee schedule for those ordinances.
Washoe County has up to 1,200 STRs depending on the season, most of which are located in the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area.
After two years of public outreach, research and planning, Washoe County staff presented the ordinances in a first-reading in February of this year. With the approval at Tuesday's meeting, the ordinances will go into effect before the busy tourist season in the summer and give Washoe County staff time to collect feedback and revise the ordinances as needed before winter.
“This has been going on for two years. I can assure you there were public meetings, extensive commissioner discussions, discussions with staff and the community. This has been very much vetted. New policy is never easy to accept or adopt, it’s very tedious work that takes a lot of time and input from a lot of different individuals,” Chair Bob Lucey said. “If we don’t move forward, and don’t have something to address these issues, short-term rentals will continue to exist, properties will be rented out, and there will be no compliance, and no recourse or help. This board will be watching this and making sure that our code enforcement offers are adhering to the needs, and if we need to amend this ordinance at any given time, we’ll do that, to address the needs of the community. This is a starting place, a starting place that has had two-plus years of dedication from our staff and community.”
With the adoption of the ordinances, Commissioners advanced to a resolution on fees, which includes a tiered permit schedule based on occupancy and fines for violations of the ordinances. The cost to administer and enforce the ordinances is estimated around $192,000, which is expected to be paid for by STR permit fees and fines.
“I think it’s incredibly important to move forward with this ordinance to protect the neighborhood of unincorporated Washoe County. I hear the residents of Incline Village/Crystal Bay loud and clear, and I know you’re experiencing over-tourism and it’s creating a lot issues in that community: trash, environmental, traffic issues. I’m committed to resolving these issues,” Commissioner Alexis Hill said. “Short-term rentals is one thing we’ll be tackling when we look at how we preserve Lake Tahoe, this incredible gem in our community. We’re committed to bring this ordinance back and make sure we’re doing what’s right for the community and all the homeowners in the community. I do think this ordinance will alleviate a lot of the pain the community is feeling. I really look forward to working with residents on these issues.”
More details are available here.