Suggested Additions to the STR Ordinance For Incline Village/Crystal Bay Only:

November 12, 2020

The information below was obtained from Commissioner Berkbigler. As of January 2021, our new Washoe County Commissioner will be Alexis Hill.  We appreciate Commissioner Berkbigler’s efforts on this important matter and hope Ms. Hill will continue to implement protective regulations for our community.

SUGGESTED ADDITIONS TO THE STR ORDINANCE FOR INCLINE VILLAGE/CRYSTAL BAY ONLY:

In September 2020, the Washoe County District Attorney agreed Incline Village and Crystal Bay, because they are in the Tahoe Basin under the authority of the TRPA, can legally have different STR regulations from the rest of Washoe County’s unincorporated areas.

Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler has therefore proposed additions to the Ordinance specific to Incline Village/Crystal Bay. She provided a preliminary partial list to be added to the STR Ordinance being drafted:

OCCUPANCY: Unit occupancy will be limit to 2 persons per bedroom, plus an additional 2 persons. For example: a 2-bedroom unit allows a maximum of 6 renters.

LIMIT ON RENTAL NIGHTS PER YEAR: A unit can be used as a STR a maximum of 9 months out of each year. During the remaining 3 months, the unit must be (a) occupied by the owner, (b) occupied rent free by the owner’s family (defined according to the IGVID picture pass), or (c), left empty for 3 months. These 3 months of non-STR use can be consecutive or in separate blocks of at least 1 month each. The 3-month non-STR rental period(s) will be tracked by the County and made known to neighbors.

LIMIT ON LENGTH OF STR STAY: All residential units must be rented for a minimum of 6 consecutive days.

LOCAL MANAGER/OVERSEER REQUIRED: To obtain a STR license/permit, a property manager or trained “STR overseer” must be located in the Tahoe Basin and able to be physically present at the STR within 30 minutes of any complaint. The manager’s/overseer’s name and 24/7 telephone number must be disclosed to all residences within a 1-mile radius of the STR and be listed on a publicly available site.

RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL USE: Any entity/person who owns or has a beneficial ownership interest in more than three properties in Washoe County shall be considered a business and must comply with all applicable business licensing regulations in addition to STR regulations.

CLEANING/SANITATION: Every residential unit must be left vacant for a minimum of 24 hours between successive rentals to fully sanitize/clean the residential unit to meet sanitation, health, and safety best practices and requirements per all applicable government entities. The unit’s property manager/ STR overseer will be required to verify the cleanliness of the unit prior to each rental.

SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS IN UNIT: Each STR unit must display on the back of each front door a list of County-dictated safety concerns (e.g. ample bear boxes), which are subject to routine inspection by the property manager/STR overseer.

QUIET HOURS: At night, quiet hours will extend from 9 pm until 8 am.  During the day, County noise regulations will prevail: no amplified sound (music or noise) outside that disturbs neighbors.

RESTRICTION ON STR ACTIVITIES: The STR unit cannot be used for party functions such as bachelor parties, weddings, conferences, retreats, etc. STRs may be used only as a live-in residence for residential activities such as eating, home entertainment, and sleeping.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS: The number of cars allowed to park on the STR property will be determined by the number of bedrooms/maximum occupancy. A parking plan must be submitted with each permit showing where cars will be parked. Rental agreements must list all cars, trucks, RVs, boats, trailers, and other vehicles permitted at the STR. No cars, trucks, RVs, boats, trailers, or other vehicles can be parked on the property unless there is a designated space for them on the parking plan.

TRASH AND GARBAGE: The owner will be responsible to ensure the STR has a trash receptacle inaccessible to bears and other wildlife, and of a size compatible with the permitted occupancy. The property manager/STR overseer will be responsible for timely trash pickup ensuring that renters leave trash outside only on the designated day and time for pickup.

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: The STR owner will be responsible for any intrusion into, damage to, or destruction of neighboring property.

ENFORCEMENT/INSPECTION FEES: To pay for increased inspection and enforcement, all STRs located in the Tahoe Basin will be charged a higher licensing fee, and all fees collected will be used solely for STR enforcement in the Tahoe Basin.

FINES: High fines will be issued for every infraction of the STR Ordinance. Any STR with 3 reported infractions in a 6-month period will not be permitted to continue operating for the next 12 months.

EMERGENCIES: To deal effectively with STRs during a general emergency (e.g., COVID pandemic), the County code will be amended to allow County government to declare an emergency with emergency regulations. The permit to operate a STR does not convey a property right.

REGULATION OVERSIGHT: The County will review the STR Ordinance after 6 months to determine if it needs to be adjusted.

POSSIBLE LIMIT ON TOTAL NUMBER OF STRS IN IVCB: Commissioner Berkbigler will discuss with other Commissioners, the District Attorney, and County Staff whether a limit could be placed on the total number of STRs in IVCB similar to limits placed by the City of South Lake Tahoe and Douglas County. If such a limit were instated, a provision would allow existing permits to be grandfathered in for a set period of time.

A group of residents have been actively engaged on this issue.  If you are interested in obtaining more background information and staying informed on their activities, email iv.str.advisory.group@gmail.com.

Our community was included in a New York Times article regarding the problems created by short term rental party houses.  Click here to view the article.

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