Recap of Washoe County STR Meeting

October 19, 2021

[Recap Note: Exact quotes are in italics. Edited quotes are not.]

PLANNERS STR PRESENTATION – Oct 19, 2021

67 people on the call

Washoe County Moderator: Courtney Weiche

TIMELINE TO ENACT CODE CHANGE REGARDING OCCUPANCY OF STRS

Fall of 2021 – Public outreach – with partnering agencies

Jan 2022 –  BCC Presentation and request for direction on possible amendments and clarifications

March 2022 – draft with code changes

April – 1st reading

May – 2nd reading

June – 2022 – Ordinance effective

Washoe County Planner: Chad Giesinger

PERMITTING REPORT

Overall Incline Village Crystal Bay map shows 805 Total STRs, 36 new STRs in last 30 days

Number of STR Applications, Permits, and Units Operating

• The number of STR units in Washoe County vacillates day to day between 790 and 805 units

• 36 new STR rental units in last 30 days

• There is a steady decline of STR postings on online hosting platforms

Since May 2021

• 569 applications received

• 361 permits issued

• Only 6 applications were in Tier II (allows 10+ occupants and requires an Administrative Review). Only 2 Tier II STRs have been issued permits.

• 99% of Washoe County STRs permitted are located in the Tahoe Basin (IVCB)

• Some failed inspections. Some started applications but withdrew.  

Occupancy Statistics of 309 Permitted STRs (slightly less than 361)

•  The average occupancy is 5.3 people

• The average number of legal bedrooms is 2.8

• The majority (nearly 50%) are 3 bedrooms; less than 25% are more than 3 bedrooms

• The number of Property Managed STRs is 187 (58%), get break on fees

• Of the permitted STRs, 23% are Single-Family-Residences (SFRs); and 77% are condo units

• The average size is 1680 square feet (minimum 667 sq ft TO maximum 6017 sq ft (an outlier)

Application and Permit Trends

• Of the 569 applications received 138 failed their 1st Building Inspection

• Of the 569 applications, 58 failed their 1st Fire Inspection  [Total 196 didn’t meet basic life safety issues]

• STRs failing their 1st inspections were equally distributed between condos and single family residences

• Of the 569 applications, only 2 owners applied for 3 or more STRs

• Of the 361 permits issued, 35 are to owners in an LLC or Holding company

[NOTE: of 7500 properties in IVCB, about half are owned by LLCs]

Current Framework for Code Revision

What are we asking for?

• Showcase the update of the program with some data

• Clarify occupancy calculations

Washoe County Planner – Mojra Hauenstein:

What have residents & operators asked for?

• “We’ve heard frustration with the occupancy calculation especially from the condos that are a little bit smaller and not getting the full benefit of being able to have 2 people per bedroom. A lot of them have 3 bedrooms but were limited to 5 people. So they were disproportionately affected by the current calculation.”

• Easier access to STR permit information

• A GIS map showing STRs. [We will take it on in the new year. We are working one one and ask for your patience.]

• Simplification of the application and renewal process. The Renewal Process will be simpler for properties without any violations. They will be able to self-certify instead of needing physical inspections.

• Condensing of educational materials

• Reduction in application fees

• Clarification of enforcement procedures

MAJOR PROPOSED CHANGE: Occupancy – Suggested Revision of the Ordinance

The occupant load shall be calculated as two occupants for every legally permitted bedroom in accordance with Section 110.319.20(a)(1). The remainder of the home (excluding bedrooms) shall be calculated as one (1) occupant for every 200 sq ft of habitable space in accord with Table 1004.45 of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC).”

Tier 1 applies to STRs with Permitted Occupancy of 10 or fewer people.

Mojra Hauenstein

“We know some of you were concerned about the change in occupancy proposal, so we want to provide an example.”

Example Occupancy Calculation: Condo

Washoe Planner CALCULATIONS:

TOTAL UNINHABITABLE SPACE = 1200 – 986 = 214 sq ft

OCCUPANCY CALCULATIONS:

Current Legal Occupancy Limit 1200 sq ft – 214 sq ft = 986/200 sq ft = 4.93 or 5 people

Total = 5

Proposed Legal Occupancy Limit

3 bedrooms @ 2/bedroom = 6

Plus 1 per 200 sq ft of habitable space eliminating bedrooms = 986 – 645 = 341 / 200 = 1.71 = 2

Total = 8

Mojra Hauenstein, “Obviously, it doesn’t make much sense to have 3 bedrooms and only allow 5 people. But we also understand the concern for overcrowding… But parking still remains a constraint.”

Parking Constraints on Maximum Occupancy

Parking: 4 people per 1 parking space; 8 occupants require 2 parking spaces.

If condo only assigns 1 parking space to the unit, the maximum allowed occupancy will be 4.

Tier Constraints on Maximum Occupancy

Tier 1 – only allows up to 10 occupants.

Tier 2 – 10-20 occupants

Tier 3 – 21+ occupants requires additional Administrative Review Permit; Not allowed in a Residential zoned neighborhood

Example Occupancy Calculation: Single-Family Residence (SFR)

Current Legal Occupancy Limit 1200 sq ft /200 sq ft = 6 people

Total = 6

Proposed Legal Occupancy Limit

3 bedrooms @ 2/bedroom = 6

Plus 1 per 200 sq ft of habitable space eliminating bedrooms = 1200- 395 = 805 / 200 = 4

Total 10

This home would be In Tier 1 and require 3 parking spaces.

• Of the 361 permitted STRs, 73% are currently in condos where parking remains a constraint on the number of allowed occupants

Current Fee for Inspections

• The $90 current fee for 1 hour of Fire Department Inspection doesn’t cover their time for administration. We are proposing an additional 1 hour of fee for a total of 2 hours = $180. The hourly fee of $90 will cover changes such as change in ownership, modifications to STR permits requested by owner, etc. that are not investigative and not part of the standard application process.

WC Programmer Chad Giesinger: “I manage the Code Enforcement program. My primary focus is getting people permitted. We began enforcement August 1st, but we were quite behind on issuing permits that were already in the pipeline. It didn’t make any sense to fine people who were in process of making applications but not permitted through no fault of their own just because of the volume and the amount of staff we have. So we made a decision to match up who has not yet applied and is still advertising.”

Enforcement – Permitting

• Host Compliance provides an Excel spreadsheet

• Of identified STRs still advertising, 250 had not applied by August 1. They were sent notification warnings.

Chad Giesinger: “We got quite a response –we did get quite a few more people applying and into the process. Since then we’ve sent out a “last-warning” letter because… many are not local and simply haven’t been paying attention. So this was the final warning…. We’ll now be opening cases that can be fined and appealed to Administrative Hearings.”

ENFORCEMENT REPORT

The current enforcement of STRs to date:

• Violations are subject to due process

• Citation evidence (time/date stamped) must be presented

• Planners have limited staff resources.

“It is not possible to respond to or confirm complaints 24/7.”

• Host Compliance Hotline responses

• Legally Responsible Party (LRP) issues/experience

• General summary of calls/complaints thus far

TABLE:  Host Compliance Count of Complaint Types Since April 2021

UNPERMITTED STR                                58

TRASH 6

PARKING                                                  33

OTHER COMPLAINTS                             9

NOISE                                                       26

GENERAL INQUIRIES                              14

DISTURBANCE OR TRESPASSING         3

TOTAL =                                                   149

Chad Giesinger: “Our enforcement process in Washoe County is not punitive. It is based on getting people to comply with the Ordinance. We’re not out looking to fine people necessarily. Fines will be levied against bad actors and against people who refuse to get into the program…. So even if we find someone in violation, they will get a period of time within which to comply. So far, that’s been the case.

Neighbor Complaints: Noise, Trash, Etc.

Chad Giesinger: … “Violations are subject to Due Process. Just because you make an allegation doesn’t mean… we’re going to issue a citation.… We need to follow Due Process…. A confirmed violation means it has gone through the whole Due Process elements. What if someone made a complaint about you doing something with your property and you had no ability to appeal or to see the evidence and so forth? So a confirmed violation means that we issued the fine and they paid the penalty and admitted guilt. Great. We’re done. Due Process was provided. However if they appeal, Due Process includes going through the Appeal Hearing, and then that could be appealed…. That’s what we have to follow.”

“Evidence from the community is really helpful…. You can submit your time-date stamped video and tape evidence submitted with your written allegation. We will accept that and move that forward.

If it’s a complaint to Host Compliance hotline, we are logging those. Those are being tracked. If you submit the right evidence, we can reach out based on that too to engage you in the process….

We have limited staff resources. We are funding the Code Enforcement staff position through these Permit Fees. We have to prioritize the enforcement process. That still allows us only 1 Code Enforcement Officer and all the things that come with it—vehicle, computer, etc. … Code enforcement is not law enforcement In Washoe County. It may be the case in South Lake Tahoe when the rolled out their Ordinance and had people working 24/7 and breaking up house parties and things of that nature.

 Washoe County can’t do that because we have only 1 person who works 8-5 Monday through Friday. So again that’s where the evidence citation comes in.

That also means we have to prioritize our enforcement actions. Our priority is to get the unpermitted STRs permitted. We need to have building inspections to ensure life safety. We need to ensure they have the parking so occupancy can be handled… Then we’ll look at other issues like how long does it take for the Legal Responsible Party to respond.”

WC STR Code Enforcement Officer – Steve Oriol: “Our goal is voluntary compliance… We’re not out to punish people… We allow time after a property owner is notified to allow that person to take care of the issue. It’s taken a few extra months for the permits to be processed.”

•The Host Compliance Hotline began August 1.

“The STR Ordinance was in effect in the spring but not enforced until August. I understand the community frustration after reporting complaints in June and July but the complaints were not addressed until August 1st. Host Compliance was logging the complaints. But the official Code Enforcement began on August 1st.”

• “The process begins when the complaint comes in by phone or online. Our goal is for the Legal Responsible Party (LRP) to address the complaint. For all STRs that submitted applications I have the Acela information and can contact the LRP. The first question I ask is: Have you received a notice of complaint at your property?” We had some hiccups in the system so that volume prevented automatic notification of the LRP, but now the system is working. If the LRP had not received notification, I told them to immediately respond and deal with the complaint.”

 “I am just one person. I do not handle STR enforcement on evenings or weekends. Many Monday mornings I would arrive to find a laundry list of complaints. But by the time I contacted the LRP, the STR renters were gone. If they did receive notification of the problem, I ask them how they handled it. We’re trying to handle everything at the lowest possible level, not getting the WCSO or NLTFPD involved.”

•” If Host Compliance receives a request for me to call back about the complaint, I make an effort to do so. I sometimes can’t get back, but I try to reach out.“

“It’s been overwhelmingly successful.”

• “Many complaints can’t be substantiated. There’s a lack of time-and-date stamped video or audio, which is required evidence. Just taking a picture of the back of a car with a license plate showing isn’t sufficient. If there’s a complaint about too many people, what evidence do you have to provide? If there’s a noise complaint, we don’t work in the evenings. So noise is a nuisance under Washoe Code so noise complaints are handled by the WCSO.”

• “We received many complaints about unpermitted STRs. We check to see if there is an application or permit for the address. If so, I have the contact number for the LRP. If there’s no application, I put the address on a list to be contacted. First I have to determine if they are a STR, or a LTR, or a timeshare etc. It’s a manual process. And the permitting is an annual process. So even though Host Compliance provides the data, I have to chew it down to make it useable.”

“Complaints have really fallen off. Voluntary compliance is working.”

Of the 149 complaints 77% fall into the three categories of No Permit, Noise, and Parking

We had 96 complaints since August 1: August = 83, Sept = 9, Oct = 4.

“As the program has moved forward and matured and processes are put in place, complaints have dropped off to a small fraction… “

“So far voluntary compliance has been overwhelming…”

No fines issued to date—general compliance.

Phone: 775 328-6100

By email: str@washoecounty.gov

Updates: http: www.washoecounty.gov/str

Permitting: http://www.onenv.us/

PUBLIC COMMENT: [begins on the recording at 30 minutes]

Paul Crolla

Comment – this whole STR permit process – a lot of info on the web; it was scattered; I was never confident I was following a nice simple procedure – It was difficult to know you were going to the right place, filling out the right form. Almost too much stuff.

Aaron Vanderpool

STRs have destroyed my neighborhood. STRs should not be allowed in residential zones. There’s othing to compensate me for enforcing STRs. You are not law enforcement and neither am I. There are too many issues. I don’t have time to get into this.

Ann Cordova

Question about the number of occupants: only allowed 3 people in a 2 full bedroom unit. If that is changed, will permit be reissued for full occupancy of 4 people?

Mojra Hauenstein

We have to go to the board first in January. If they say yes to our proposed calculations, then we will amend code. It has to go back for 2 and 3rd readings. When in code then we can change the permits. Don’t have a full timeline – at least until May.

IV/CB host

I applaud staff for the new nformation. I’m active in the CAB. Based on today’s data 200 haven’t started application process and advertise on Airbnb. My question – When do you think you’ll levy a fine on an illegal STR? At least 1 in the next 30 days? So STRs don’t take advantage of the process. Get the first fine out there. Otherwise people will just ignore. … May, then August, then nothing…

Chad Giesinger

So keep in mind the difference between applications and permits. We’re focusing on active STRs rented in the last 30 days. There are quite a few who may have been renting and aren’t now.  We are slowly going to review all of those. Whether we fine or not  depends on making contact. What we’ve seen so far is they decide they’re not going to do it and they take down their ad. Or they get into process and once they’re in our enforcement process, we’re giving them a shorter timeline than the grace period allowed previously. We don’t need to give a 14 day warning, it’s not required. But I’m anticipating there will be fines at some point. But whether we’re going to give you information on a play-by-play basis about what’s happening with code enforcement…. No. We’ll let the community know once that has happened. It seems like there’s an appetite out there. I don’t know how we’ll be doing that. But typically we don’t advertise code enforcement outcomes and penalties to the public. But we can give periodic updates. When we go back to the Board in December, we’ll have a better idea of where we stand on that. But I get it. If you got with the program and you went through the process and you’re wondering why others aren’t getting with the program, I get that frustration. Also understand we’re working through it, and the goal is not to issue fines really. I hope that we don’t have to issue fines, to be honest with you. I know that’s the perception out there that it will light a fire under people. But we’re going to light a fire under them. Don’t worry.

Pamela Tsigdinos

I sent a lot of material to you in writing but I just want to summarize a few things here:

Since the beginning of this process the County has been operating under the mindset of “How do we accommodate as many STR operators and tourists as possible?” My understanding was that the County is there to protect the citizens and the residents of the County you’re working to support. I don’t understand why your priority isn’t “How do we safeguard access to long-term housing and promote neighborhood safety and harmony?” That should be the overall mission. The only way I would submit to address the long-term housing shortages that are being caused by an unlimited proliferation of STRs, is to follow the lead of Douglas County – cap the number of STRs and make residents a priority.

I submitted specific ordinance modifications. They include:

• More streamlined form of emergencies-power-use for local public health and safety threats

This past summer was a perfect example. How would Washoe County have handled it if we had to evacuate like South Lake Tahoe did? That needs to be spelled out somewhere in this Ordinance. I know you deferred to the Governor. But the Governor isn’t going to know if a fire is starting in IV. The local County should have the authority to suspend STRs until the public health threat is under control.

• There should be greater transparency on the County website of STRs, with an eye to reducing density and overcrowding. I’ve submitted a number of other suggestions. But my time is up. I’m frustrated. As you can tell, none of our suggestions ever make it through.

Mark Hoffing

Property managers. Does that need to be a licensed real estate agent in NV? I’ve been doing STRs in my property in Reno for 7 years without problems. But I don’t live there. Somebody helps me out. Would they be considered a property manager?

The STR application is way too complicated for me and others. Very bureaucratic. I’d like to pay my fees and get on with it. It seems to be dragging out. Thanks for this seminar.

Courtney Weiche

I understand there does need to be a certified property manager.

Trevor Lloyd

Regarding whether the property manager is certified or not. Yes they will need to be certified to receive the reduced application fees.

Diane

I live in Lyon NV, 4 hours north of Reno. We are remote. We have approval for our STRs – we have 2 different properties here. But we feel we are disadvantaged because we are under a one-size-fits-all requirement for our STRs. It appears the STRs are typically set up for congested areas of Tahoe, Reno, Sparks and so forth. The people who come to us are looking to get away from the big cities. We have no issues with parking. We own 2000 acres. We can park everyone without any issues. So what we recommend is you put into the Commissioners a request to establish a new code or category in rural areas. It’s unfortunate we have to be as restricted as the urban STRS…. We’ve been restricted on one of our properties to having instead of 4 only 1 person on the property. There aren’t too many people who travel solo. And so it’s restricting our revenue and also the TOT we’re paying to Washoe County.

Trevor Lloyd

The rules are in fact different between essentially Tahoe Basin and outside the basin. The parking standards are different. If you have a large acreage, we won’t have parking restrictions on your property.

Belinda Carr

I hear a lot that STRs are hurting long-term housing, but I just read STRs comprise only 12.5% of the housing stock for IVCB. So that comment really confuses me.

My question is I see Airbnb Liability Insurance proof can be used on your website… the $1 million liability that Airbnb provides. But I was told I could not use that. I had that and I had the proof, but I had to go out and buy additional liability insurance. I’m wondering if that is no longer the case?

Courtney Weiche

I do recall this. Early on we needed additional clarification from Airbnb. We are now accepting Airbnb as an insurance policy. Follow the instructions on our website to obtain their certification. You can email me and we’ll work on your insurance requirements.

Deanne Bourne

I would double check, Belinda, to make sure the Airbnb or VRBO Insurance covers a guest that is not on the site. Say the daughter lives on site and her parents are renting the property but she’s not there. Check to ensure who’s covered. The guest is a person who is not covered if the guest is not there and a family member or someone else is there.  You may not have coverage. I asked Airbnb this. I suggest you double check.

Judith Miller

I’ve been looking at STRs for 8 years. One of the callers asked about how do we know STRs are affecting our workforce housing. I think a map actually gives a very good indication of that, and also your statistics showing that of STRs condos are the majority. This used to be our workforce housing and now it’s not available. They are concentrated in areas where we have a great number of condominiums. When they’re not available, we don’t have workforce housing. This is an area with lots of people in the hospitality industry who may only be here seasonally. Well those are the very periods of time when the STRs expand.

And Steve had made a comment that complaints are dropping. Well, if you’re in the STR business, you realize the STR business has dropped off substantially. Mostly people are here on the weekends. Most have gone back to work. It’s not like the steady demand that we had at the height of COVID when people were here for weeks or months. It’s primarily now back on the weekends.

Carole Black

There’s a lot of static when you speak. Your voice comes and goes.

Thanks for the presentation. I sent extensive written comments based on what I heard before the meeting. Some of that now needs tweaking. I focused on current regulatory gaps, long-term adverse effects, and logistical challenges.

1 – WC has the least restrictive STR regulations in the Tahoe Basin, which makes IVCB a mecca for STRs.

2 – I’m particularly interested in the occupancy changes. I don’t have any problem with 2 people per bedroom or with the habitable space. I am worried about 2 per bedroom PLUS habitable space, especially condos in close proximity with restricted parking. I would like to propose that either 2 per bedroom or habitable space be the standard. If added restrictions are needed for large STRs for neighborhood compatibility—fine—put a cap on. But for smaller rentals some of the numbers you come up with looking at your example models are simply too many for life safety. In my building there are 3 units conjoined—a 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and a 3 bedroom. With the current ordinance you get 14 renters; with your revised proposal you get 20-24 in the building. That’s too many!!! The shared-parking-spaces would be overrun throughout the complex by STR renters. It’s a problem. I’ll send you some estimates of examples I just worked out on the back of an envelope with my concern about the numbers. Thanks and I hope you’ll read what I wrote.

Ken

Thanks to the staff for working diligently and the commissioners. I’ve spoken to staff and everybody’s been amazing in this process. My only comment is about occupancy. It seems like it could be a lot of people but my understanding is the parking restrictions— it doesn’t matter how many whether you have 5 or 8, you’re still only allowed 2 cars. If the HOA allows 2 per unit, I don’t see the parking as being an issue. The noise ordinances are out there. The sheriff will enforce those more vigorously if necessary. I think STRs allow a lot of people to enjoy the area that otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Diane Becker

I want to address the occupancy calculation. I ask that you not change the calculation to 2 per bedroom plus 1 per 200/sq ft of habitable space. I previously provided to staff a summary of STR ordinances and laws in tourist destinations across the country. And not one of those 65 tourist destinations has this kind of hybrid occupancy calculation that is there really only to increase the number of people you can get into a unit. The other jurisdictions around the lake and the TRPA after several years of study decided upon 2 occupants per bedroom with density limitations.  Washoe County hasn’t put in any density or concentration limitations. To exceed 2 occupants per bedroom is really unfair to the community, and that’s what we’ve been asking you to help us with, to keep the community from a situation where we are so overcrowded.

In your first example you would have had 6 occupants in a tiny 3-bedroom condominium based on 2 people per bedroom. But then you added 2 more people who I guess would sleep in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. If you limited your calculation even to the living room space, you would not have added the 2 additional people. Adding in the space people have in the dining room and kitchen is really not a place anyone is going to be sleeping. The objections you are receiving from the small condominiums is that they cannot qualify for 2 people per bedroom with the square feet calculation, which I agree you may want to reconsider. But when you allow 8-10 people in these tiny condominiums, they are overloaded. And you are impacting neighbors and the entire condominium complex adversely. You heard concerns expressed about these impacts. And when the condos are packed or the tiny homes close together it has an impact. I hope you’ll limit this change to 2 people per bedroom. If larger units want a calculation based on one thing and the smaller units want 2 per bedroom—you could do that kind of a hybrid. But just to do a change where every unit gets more people, it’s really not a service to the community. I hope you’ll rethink that. Thank you.

Self Identify – Galaxy SE

I’m not sure if this is a platform where I can get any answers, but I have a timeshare I rent for a few years in IV or in Reno. I’m trying to go through the application process, but the information was overwhelming. They are big condominiums with parking. I’m trying to do my thing but I don’t own a specific unit. I get assigned a different one each year with all different floor plans. So it’s very overwhelming. I waited for more information to come. I called the timeshare association. They said they’re working on something trying to get it streamlined. You guys are the ones allowing me to rent through Airbnb my timeshare. They said we’re working on something as well. I said I need floor plans of all your units. I need to have floor plans that show fire extinguishers. I need your insurance copies. I don’t rent a lot, but here and there, when I get my time.  I’m afraid to advertise any more because I don’t want to have any more fees. I respect what’s happening and understand why it’s being done. I just don’t know how to get from Point A to Point B.

Courtney Weiche

Timeshares are regulated differently than STRs. There are current codes outside STR regulations in WC. For the reasons you describe, it doesn’t fit with the STR model. So if you have any clarifying questions email me. The application process doesn’t work for timeshares.

Galaxy SE

I have been emailing somebody. I don’t have the name in front of me. And they were saying I still had to go through the same process…..

Courtney Wieche

Reach out and I’ll be looking for that. We have questions in the chat. We will be recording those questions. We’ll try to make clarifying responses on our dedicated website.

Kathie Julian

I appreciate the focus on the specific regulations, but two comments:

1. We do need IMO limits on number and density of STRs in IV because the proliferation of STRs does damage the fabric of our neighborhoods and does have some impact on affordable and workforce housing. The number you cited that 77% of STRs are condos and other units—that is our workforce housing. So it has a disproportionate effect on that.

Will you be providing a list or map of STRs advertising that haven’t been permitted? Is that something you’ll be able to do when you have the GIS system up and running?

I disagree with people requesting the use of the condos unassigned parking to be included in their applications. Parking in my development is limited and the last thing we need is for our unreserved parking spaces to be used by STRs.

Courtney Weiche

[inaudible] That is something that we are exploring. It will take resources and time. That is something the County is interested in developing.

Olga

I want to make a comment about the livability of affordable housing. Many HOAs have houses that are occasionally occupied by their owners. This is our family situation. So if for some reason STRs become restricted or what our HOA wants to do, it doesn’t mean we’ll offer our house as a long-term rental just because we share our house with STR renters. We go there ourselves. I want to make that comment because I don’t know how many STRs would be available for long-term rentals for workforce housing. I think it’s preliminary to claim that STRs affect affordable housing.

Steve

I have a unit in Incline Village—a 1 bedroom, 2 bath with an unusual layout in that it has a sleeping nook off the living room with two beds in it and a privacy curtain. They said I could have a maximum of 3 people based on the 200 sq ft per person calculation. It has plenty of parking. It works well for 4 people. I wonder if that is something permanent or it might be adjusted at some point?

Mojra Hauenstein

The reason for one person per 200 sq ft comes from the fire and building codes (International Building Code) for defensibility. For the past 6 years we’ve issued permits based on the 1 person per 200 sq ft for residences. So it’s important not to use an arbitrary number because we have the backing from the National Code Council and that’s where we want to remain. I’ll be happy to discuss this with you offline.

Paul Crolla

I’ve been thinking about a bit of talk about maybe down the road about thinning the density of STRs. But how could you do that in a fair and equitable way? If you have a STR in a sparsely populated area—no problem. But, if you have an STR along with 20 others in a small area. And maybe only a small fraction allowed by a density rule, what would be a fair way to decide who are the lucky ones who get to rent? It just seems difficult to do that.

Clinton

I want to agree with Olga on the question of STRs taking up LTRs. In our family’s case, if it weren’t used as a STR it still wouldn’t be a LTR. It would just be vacant more when we’re not using it ourselves. I suspect that’s the case for a lot of owners. Do we get a written notice when we’re supposed to renew our permits?

Courtney Wieche

Yes, as part of this process, the County will be sending out a notice prior to your expiration date, which is indicated on your STR permit. You will need to renew before that date and pay the applicable fees. Fees will also be included as part of the proposal from the Planners to the County Commissioners.

Clinton

Are the fees announced somewhere?

Mojra Hauenstein

The fees were in one of our slides and are on our website. They are already approved. So if you just go to our site…  of course the renewals are much less. Hopefully you won’t have any violations. And if you’re a good actor, you would not need to have inspections and you can self-certify. So fees will be much reduced compared to what you paid originally.

Steve

I’m curious with the new regulations what has been the effect on total number of STRs in the County?

Mojra Hauenstein

It sounds like a complex question. In our presentation, that number fluctuates.

We believed we had about 1200 advertising. Currently we have 805 advertising. And it’s been as low as 790. Overall we’ve gone down.

Steve

I could expand on that… We’ve seen several hundred drop off the STR radar entirely. And many more have simply changed to long-term so they don’t have to go through the same permitting process. The number of STRs has decreased and the number of LTRs has increased. A lot of folks with whom I’m still in contact are still weighing their options and deciding whether to go through the process legally, or just change and advertise exclusively for long term. I just want to clarify that long term is anything 29 nights or more. It’s a decision up to the property owner.

Courtney Weiche

Question in the chat: How much tax revenue has the County received from the STRs?

Mojra Hauenstein

The County gets 1/13th of the tax revenue, but it goes directly to the RSCVA. We don’t have numbers. We can get the information. We would ask RSCVA to provide and forward to you.

Ronda Tycer

I have a few questions I suppose for Mojra. We assume Host Compliance has a contract with Washoe County.

1. How frequently does Host Compliance report data to the Washoe Planners?

2. What data are reported to the Planners?

3. When can we as a public see these data?

4. Do the planners gather complaint data from the WCSO and NLTFPD independent of Host Compliance?

Mojra Hauenstein

Host Compliance is a platform where they look at all platforms advertising STRs. It is not a precise tool. We don’t want to show the map they provide. We have to do our due diligence before we provide that data to the public. We have to vet all of that and we take that very seriously.

The frequency with which Host Compliance takes the downloads of data is usually once a month. Because we’re in a very intense period of launching the Ordinance and enforcement, they are providing reports twice a month for a short period of time. Probably they will go back to once a month after this year.

It’s a wonderful tool but it is not precise. As Chad said, we need to check all the data through our own Acela and GIS. There is a little bit of vetting that occurs. That’s why it is not automatically updated. However we will work on a map that is vetted by us and by Computer Technology Services.

Chad Giesinger

As to the question if we are monitoring complaints to the Washoe County Sheriff Office—the short answer is no. But we are coordinating with them to get call data. For example, we requested data from them on noise complaints. We did that when we were developing the Ordinance. But they can’t break down what is and what isn’t an STR. So it’s kind of a lag in reality. But we do want to coordinate with them on noise complaints specifically, so I have been reaching out to contacts in the WCSO (there’s new staff there). We need to build a relationship so if they do cite someone for noise, we’ll be notified. We have to work with legal to see how to count that as a violation. Do we have to do a follow-up investigation on our own? There’s a bit of a legal nuance there.

Similarly we are working with IVGID on trash complaints because they have their own citation authority. So we need to build a relationship there to share the data. So that’s on our radar just to let you know that.  

Mapping advertising STRs that don’t have a permit is difficult. We’re going to focus on issued permits instead. Because we have all those data—APNs, contact numbers etc. so we know where they are and can contact them.

Host Compliance estimates that they haven’t been able to identify about 25% of the listings. They use an algorithm that crawls the web every day. And what they do to identify—because most of the time they don’t have addresses on these things—they use video evidence, photographs, cross streets. They have a process to identify properties. Even if we tried to map those it would be a pretty difficult endeavor. Once we get through the glut of permits, that’s really the data we want to share with the community.

CHAT BOX

kathie julian       5:01 PM

will we be able to see the names of those in attendance in Incline?

Trevor Lloyd       5:06 PM

Only when attendees raise their hand to ask questions after the presentation when they are promoted to speak.

Paul Crolla       5:02 PM

Mojra is the only windOw visible and it is mostly chopped off

This question has been answered live

Dan Meyer       5:03 PM

Looks good to me.

Trevor Lloyd       5:19 PM

Thanks.

Paul Crolla       5:12 PM

Hopefully a problem just with my computer, but only a fraction of the windows are visible!

Trevor Lloyd       5:31 PM

I’m not sure why this is occuring, but it appers that most are not having this problem.

kathie julian       5:13 PM

How many applicants have applied for 2 STRs?

Trevor Lloyd       5:20 PM

To date, 6 tier two applications have been submitted.

Jay       5:16 PM

LOVE the revised occupancy idea!

Trevor Lloyd       5:21 PM

Thank you.

Anonymous Attendee       5:17 PM

When will this go into effect?

Trevor Lloyd       5:23 PM

The STR code has already been in effect since May. At this point the code will be revisited by the County Commission for possible modifications, which will likely take place in winter/spring.

Anonymous Attendee       5:18 PM

Our unit would go from 5 occupants to 8, which is great for our 3 bedroom.  Note:  we have plenty of parking but none if reserved.  Please don’t make reserved vs. unreserved parking an issue.

Trevor Lloyd       5:23 PM

Thank you, we’ll take that into consideration.

Aaron Vanderpool       5:21 PM

How do neighboring property owners get compensated for their time dealing with problems?

Trevor Lloyd       5:24 PM

Thank you for your question, unfortunately Washoe County does not have funds available for such compensation.

Pamela Tsigdinos       5:22 PM

What is the logic behind allowing for more occupants when MORE people automatically means MORE noise, MORE congestion???

Trevor Lloyd       5:28 PM

This is in response to significant concerns expressed by STR operators; the potential change will provide for maximum occupancies that are in keeping with the size/function of the residences.

Anonymous Attendee       5:23 PM

After my permitting process was concluded, I sent a letter to the Planning Director complimenting several of the employees involved in the process.  I was really impressed with their courtesy and professionalism.

Thank you.

Trevor Lloyd       5:28 PM

Thank you, we really appreciate your kind words.

Aaron Vanderpool       5:24 PM

How do neighboring property owners get compensated for having to add more security, fences, soundproofing, and cameras to their property? All involved in obtaining evidence. How are we compensated for having to now enforce this?

Trevor Lloyd       5:29 PM

Washoe County does not offer such compensation.

jim nadeau       5:24 PM

will this video be available after this meeting?

Trevor Lloyd       5:35 PM

We are recording the meeting and hope to make it available after the meeting.

Anonymous Attendee       5:25 PM

Residents still have the right to call the Sheriff Office for noise and parking infractions, correct?

Trevor Lloyd       5:32 PM

Yes, if it rises to the level necessary to involve the Sheriff.

Belinda Carr       5:25 PM

Do we have to wait until June of 2022 to get occupancy increased according to the new proposal?

Trevor Lloyd       5:33 PM

Washoe County staff hopes to expedite the process as much as possible.

Anonymous Attendee       5:25 PM

On the downside, the application process was intimidating and complicated.  For example, the placement and number of smoke detectors; the square footage calculation was a challenge and ended up being very different from the inspectors’ measurement.  Overall, I was impressed.  And I’m pleased to hear about the occupancy adjustment.

Trevor Lloyd       5:34 PM

Thanks for your comments. We’re sorry that it was complicated/intimidating. We hope to improve and simplify the process as much as possible moving forward.

Anonymous Attendee       5:35 PM

As of 5pm today, there are 29 STR’s being advertised on AirBnB in the IV/CB area that allow for 11 or more occupants.

Since only 2 Tier-II Permits have been issued, that means that 27 of these STR’s are illegally advertising for occupancies greater than would be allowed (even if they had a permit, of which many probably don’t). Can you focus on these please? It is easy to identify them.

Steve Oriol       6:19 PM

If you find listings that you can match to actual addresses, please email them to STR@washoecounty.gov. We WANT to focus on the larger operators first, and our tracking software isn’t perfect. Thank you.

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