Chapter 3.50
TRANSIENT LODGING

Sections:

Article I. In General

3.50.010    Purpose of chapter.

Article II. Transient Occupancy Tax

3.50.040    Consideration for occupancy.

3.50.050    Tax imposed – Payment of tax by transient.

3.50.060    Allocation of funds.

3.50.070    Exemptions from applicability of tax.

3.50.080    Collection of tax by operators – Advertisement that tax will not be collected, etc., prohibited.

3.50.090    Registration of operators.

3.50.100    Registration of rental agents.

3.50.110    Reporting and remitting of transient occupancy tax.

3.50.130    Failure to collect and remit tax – Penalties.

3.50.140    Security for collection of tax.

3.50.150    Administration.

3.50.160    Refunds.

3.50.170    Records to be kept.

3.50.230    Warrant for collection of tax.

3.50.240    Seizure and sale.

Article III. Registration of Guests

3.50.250    Required information to be shown.

3.50.260    Register to be kept two years.

3.50.270    Inspection of register.

3.50.280    Fictitious registration.

3.50.290    Law to be posted.

Article IV. Transit Vehicles

3.50.300    Parking for chartered transit vehicles.

Article V. Vacation Home Rentals

3.50.370    Definitions.

3.50.380    Vacation home rentals – General provisions.

3.50.390    Vacation home rental application procedures.

3.50.400    Expiration and renewal of vacation home rental permits.

3.50.410    Review, issuance and denial of vacation home rental permit applications.

3.50.420    Revocation of vacation home rental permit.

3.50.430    Appeal from director of development services’ determination.

3.50.440    Conditions of operation.

3.50.450    Enforcement.

3.50.460    No property rights conferred.

Prior legislation: Code 1997 §§ 28A-68 through §§ 28A-83, Ords. 928, 936, 990, 991, 994, 1030, 1046, 1067, 1086 and 1092.

Article I. In General

3.50.010 Purpose of chapter.

In enacting this chapter, it is the intent of the council to consolidate in one chapter of the city code all regulations imposed upon the transient lodging industry, including the transient occupancy tax. (Ord. 292 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-1)

Article II. Transient Occupancy Tax

3.50.040 Consideration for occupancy.

The following fees, charges, costs or rates shall not be deemed consideration for occupancy in a transient lodging facility: refundable pet deposits, movie/DVD/VCR fees, cancellation fees, cancellation insurance fees, concierge/stocking fees, mini bar fees, damage/breakage fees, telephone charges, parking, actual costs of goods and services included in “package plans,” restaurant and gift shop revenue, complimentary/donations of rooms. All other fees, charges, costs or rates shall be deemed consideration for occupancy in a transient lodging facility, including but not limited to resort fees, Internet fees, cleaning fees, pet cleaning fees, and online booking fees and charges. Any fees, charges, costs or rates not set forth in this section shall be deemed consideration for occupancy in a transient lodging facility subject to the discretion of the finance director.

Package plan revenue must be detailed on the receipts, listing out the room rate and tax separate from anything else that may be included in the price of the package plan, such as lift tickets, dinners, etc. Failure to itemize will result in an assessment of penalties and interest on the entire cost of package plans.

Owners shall not be subject to transient occupancy tax for any fees associated with personal occupancy of their property.

Transient occupancy tax shall be charged to all governmental employees occupying a transient lodging facility except employees of the federal government on official business and in such instances, documentation of travel by a federal government employee on official business must be retained and submitted to the finance director. (Ord. 935 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1105 § 1 (Exh. B); Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-4)

3.50.050 Tax imposed – Payment of tax by transient.

For the privilege of occupancy in any transient lodging facility within the city, each transient is subject to and shall pay in the amount of 14 percent of rent charge on all newly constructed visitor accommodations within the redevelopment project area and those existing properties within the redevelopment project area which undergo substantial renovation with the participation and consent of the owner under the redevelopment plan, and 12 percent of the rent charged on all other transient lodging facilities within the city. Such tax constitutes a debt owed by the transient to the city, which is extinguished only by payment to the operator or the city. The transient shall pay the tax to the operator of the transient lodging facility at the time the rent is paid. The unpaid tax shall be due upon the transient’s ceasing to occupy space in the transient lodging facility. If for any reason the tax due is not paid to the operator of the lodging facility, it must be paid directly to the city.

It is the intention of the city council, that, if any tax imposed under this title is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or contrary to state law, it is the intent of the city council that the tax which would have been imposed had this ordinance not been adopted shall remain in effect.

The city council of the city of South Lake Tahoe may delete, restore, amend or alter any of the provisions of this title and any provision of the city of South Lake Tahoe city code affected by this title; provided, that such action does not establish any new tax or increase any existing tax. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 420 § 1; Ord. 631 § 1; Ord. 790 § 1; Ord. 861 § 1; Ord. 867 § 1; Ord. 924 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1100 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-13)

3.50.060 Allocation of funds.

Allocation of monies collected pursuant to this chapter is set forth by South Lake Tahoe Resolution No. 2004-19.

Wherever the term “visitor promotion” appears within such resolution or is used within the SLTCC, the term shall have the following meaning:

A. Any media advertising or other promotional program designed to attract visitors to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe;

B. Programs designed or intended to promote the lodging, conference, or other visitor facilities at the South Shore;

C. Programs designed or intended to improve or enhance the capital facilities, environmental, or recreational amenities of the city of South Lake Tahoe so as to attract new or return visitors to the South Shore.

Monies appropriated for visitor promotion purposes as defined herein shall not be used to fund any municipal program or service which existed prior to the effective date of the predecessor section hereto which was not devoted to visitor promotion. (Ord. 631 § 1; Ord. 675 § 1; Ord. 790 § 3; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-13.1)

3.50.070 Exemptions from applicability of tax.

Irrespective of any applicable state and federal laws which exempt governmental entities from payment of transient occupancy taxes, all lodging operators and/or agents arranging for such lodging shall collect, at the time payment for the accommodations is made, the applicable transient occupancy tax. Taxes collected for such accommodations arranged for by a governmental entity shall be remitted to the city in accordance with standard transient occupancy tax collection practices, as set forth within this chapter.

No tax shall be imposed upon a transient occupying a hotel pursuant to a qualifying rental agreement or a uniform transient occupancy tax exemption form filled out and entered into prior to or on the first day of occupancy. If agreement is terminated prior to the thirtieth day, transient occupancy tax is due for all days that the transient occupied the hotel.

Lodging operators and/or agents accepting reservations for lodging for governmental entities shall advise the governmental entity representative requesting such accommodations that a refund of the tax may be requested from the city of South Lake Tahoe upon submittal of an approved claim by the governmental entity in accordance with the provisions of SLTCC 3.50.160. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 818 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-14)

3.50.080 Collection of tax by operators – Advertisement that tax will not be collected, etc., prohibited.

Each operator shall collect the tax imposed by this article to the same extent and at the same time as the rent is collected from every transient. Each transient shall receive a receipt for payment from the operator indicating the room rate and the amount of transient occupancy tax assessed based upon the percentage assessed in SLTCC 3.50.050. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 572 § 1; Ord. 739 § 1; Ord. 790 § 2; Ord. 924 § 2; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-15)

3.50.090 Registration of operators.

Within 30 days after commencing business, each operator of any transient lodging facility renting occupancy to transients shall register such transient lodging facility with the tax collector and obtain a business and professions tax certificate which shall at all times be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises of the lodging facility. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-16)

3.50.100 Registration of rental agents.

Within 30 days after first acting as a rental agent with respect to a unit of a transient lodging facility within the city, each rental agent shall register with the tax collector.

Rental agents shall not be required to comply with the provisions of SLTCC 3.50.090. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-17)

3.50.110 Reporting and remitting of transient occupancy tax.

A. Each operator and rental agent shall, on or before the fifteenth day of each month or at the close of the reporting period, make a return to the finance department on forms provided by that office showing the total taxable gross charged and received, the amount of tax collected, and the number of rooms occupied during the month or any other reporting period immediately preceding, and all copies of the uniform transient occupancy tax exemption forms totaling the amount of allowable exemptions for the reporting period. Exemptions will not be considered without a completed uniform transient occupancy tax exemption form or a qualifying rental agreement (when applicable to occupancy over 30 consecutive days).

B. Reporting periods shall be set as follows: Monthly reporting periods shall run from the first day of a given month through the last day of that month; quarterly reporting periods shall run for the periods of January through March, April through June, July through September and October through December.

C. Operators and rental agents shall not make returns to the finance department or the city more than once a month and pursuant to subsection (A) of this section.

D. At the time the return is filed the full amount of the tax collected shall be remitted to the city. If the fifteenth day of the month falls on a weekend or city-observed holiday, the due date will be the next following business day. Postmarks are not accepted and returns must physically be in the office of the tax collector on the fifteenth day of the month. If exemptions claimed do not match the uniform transient occupancy tax exemption forms remitted, additional tax will be due, including penalties and interest. The finance director may establish shorter reporting periods for any certificate holder if deemed necessary to ensure collection of the tax and may require additional information in the return. Returns and payments are due upon the cessation of business for any reason. All taxes collected by operators pursuant to this article shall be held in trust for the account of the city until payment thereof is made to the city. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 702 § 1; Ord. 965 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-18)

3.50.130 Failure to collect and remit tax – Penalties.

A. Original Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this article within the time required shall pay a penalty of 10 percent of the amount of the tax, in addition to the amount of the tax.

B. Continued Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any delinquent remittance on or before a period of 30 days following the date on which the remittance first became delinquent shall pay a second delinquency penalty of 10 percent of the amount of the tax, in addition to the amount of tax and the 10 percent penalty first imposed.

C. Fraud. If the tax collector determines that the nonpayment of any remittance due under this article is due to fraud, a penalty of 25 percent of the amount of tax shall be added thereto in addition to the penalties stated in subsections (A) and (B) of this section.

D. Interest. In addition to the penalties imposed, any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this article shall pay interest at the rate of one and one-half percent per month or fraction thereof on the amount of the tax, exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the remittance first became delinquent until paid.

E. Penalties Merged with Tax. Every penalty imposed and such interest as accrued under the provisions of this section shall become a part of the tax required to be paid.

F. Charge for Audits and Collection of Attorney’s Fees. A reasonable fee equal to the city’s costs for the audit of transient occupancy tax accounts shall be charged to the owner and/or operator of the transient lodging facility where unpaid taxes are discovered as a result of the audit. If the city is the prevailing party in litigation filed to collect taxes, penalties, and/or interest due under this chapter, the city shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs engendered by said litigation from the owner and/or operator of the transient lodging facility.

G. If the operator fails or refuses to collect said tax and to make any report and remittance of said tax or any portion thereof as required by this chapter, the director of finance, or his/her designee, shall proceed in such manner as deemed best to obtain facts and information on which to base the estimate of the tax due. As soon as the director of finance, or his/her designee, shall procure such facts and information as he/she is able to obtain upon which to base the assessment of any tax imposed by this chapter and payable by any operator who has failed or refused to collect the same and make such report and remittance, the director of finance, or his/her designee, shall proceed to determine and assess against such operator the tax, interest and penalties provided for by this article. In the case that such a determination is made, the director of finance, or his/her designee, shall give a notice of the amount so assessed by serving it personally or by depositing it in the United States mail, addressed to the operator at his last known place of address. The operator may appeal the tax collector’s determination pursuant to Chapter 2.35 SLTCC.

H. No injunction or writ of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the city or an officer thereof, to prevent or enjoin the collection of taxes sought to be collected pursuant to this chapter and payment of all taxes, interest and penalties shall be required as a condition precedent to seeking judicial review of any tax liability. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 669 § 1; Ord. 710 § 1; Ord. 780 § 1; Ord. 965 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1006 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1105 § 1 (Exh. B); Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-20)

3.50.140 Security for collection of tax.

A. To ensure compliance with transient occupant tax payment requirements, the tax collector shall require each person subject to such requirements to deposit with the city a noninterest bearing security in the form of cash or other security in the amount required by the terms hereof. The required security shall be equal to an amount not greater than twice the person’s estimated average liability for the period for which a return must be filed or the sum of $20,000, whichever is less. At any time after the amount of the initial deposit is determined, the amount of the security deposit may be determined on current information and recent reporting and payment history if the secured amount is deemed insufficient by the tax collector.

B. If any person is delinquent in the payment of the amount required to be paid or in the event a determination has been made that an amount due remains unpaid, the tax collector may, not later than three years after the payment became delinquent, give notice thereof by certified mail to all persons in the county having in their possession or under their control any credits or other personal property belonging to the delinquent, or owing any debts to the delinquent. After receiving the notice, the persons so notified shall neither transfer nor make any other disposition of the credits, other personal property or debts in their possession or under their control at the time they receive the notice until the tax collector consents to a transfer or disposition or until 20 days elapse after the receipt of the notice. All persons so notified shall within five days after the receipts of the notice advise the tax collector of all such credits, other personal property or debts in their possession, under their control or owing by them.

C. At any time within three years after any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected becomes due and payable or at any time within three years after any determination becomes final, the tax collector may bring an action in the courts of this state or any other state or of the United States in the name of the city to collect the amount delinquent together with penalties and interest.

D. If any owner and/or operator of any business or the real property upon which such business is operated sells, transfers, assigns, leases or otherwise quits the business, and any person who takes ownership or operation of the business and/or real property upon which such business is operated shall, in escrow, or otherwise, pay such amount in full. The amount to be paid shall be determined by an audit for the last three fiscal years of the property being transferred conducted by the city, less the security deposit, if any, held by the city. No escrow shall be allowed to close concerning any property subject to this chapter unless sufficient funds are retained in escrow to cover any delinquency and paid over to the city from the escrow upon demand; provided, however, that such audit shall, in all cases, be completed within a reasonable period of time after all records necessary to the audit have been provided to the city. All sums deemed due the city at the completion of the audit shall be paid to the city at the completion of the audit, shall be paid to the city by the escrow holder upon written demand of the finance director.

If any such owner or operator of the business and/or the real property upon which the business is operated, or any escrow holder, fails to pay, withhold, or insure the withholding of the required sum, such person shall be liable for all monies due the city.

No city permit or entitlement of any type shall be issued to the successor, owner or operator of any transient lodging facility if transient occupancy taxes remain unpaid.

E. Notice shall be recorded with the El Dorado County recorder’s office on every transient lodging facility containing more than two units, as defined in SLTCC 3.00.010. The following notice shall appear with regard to such properties:

Pursuant to this chapter, if any owner or operator liable to the city for any amount of transient occupancy tax or security deposit sells, transfers or assigns the property, the purchasers or successors of such person shall, in escrow, hold sufficient funds to pay such amount in full. The amount shall be determined by audit as described in SLTCC 3.50.140(D).

If any person fails to pay or withhold the required sum, or allows escrow to close without satisfaction in cash of the amount owed to the city, such person shall be personally liable.

F. If any amount of transient occupancy tax or security deposit required to be remitted or paid to the city under this section is not remitted or paid when due, the city finance director or his/her designee may, within three years after the amount is due, file for record in the office of the El Dorado County recorder a certificate specifying the amount of tax, penalties and interest due, the name and address as it appears on the records of the city finance administrator of the owner and/or operator liable for that amount, and the fact that the city finance director has complied with all provisions of this section in the determination of the amount required to be paid to the city.

From the date of the filing for record, the amount required to be remitted together with penalties and interest constitutes a lien upon all real property in the county owned by the operator and/or owner, and any real property acquired by him/her at any subsequent date but before the lien expires. The lien has the force, effect and priority of a judgment lien and shall continue for 10 years from the time of filing of the certificate unless sooner released or otherwise directed. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 442 § 1; Ord. 680 § 1; Ord. 722 § 1; Ord. 780 § 2; Ord. 848 § 1; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-21)

3.50.150 Administration.

The provisions of Chapter 3.20 SLTCC shall be applicable to the taxes imposed by this article. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-22)

3.50.160 Refunds.

A. Whenever the amount of any tax, interest or penalty has been overpaid or paid more than once or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the city under this article, it may be refunded as provided in subsections (B), (C), (D) and (E) of this section; provided, that a claim therefor, in writing, stating under penalty of perjury the specific grounds upon which the claim is founded is filed with the tax collector within three years of the date of payment. The claim shall be on forms furnished by the tax collector.

B. An operator may claim a refund or take as credit against taxes collected and remitted the amount overpaid, paid more than once or erroneously or illegally collected or received, when it is established in a manner prescribed by the tax collector that the person from whom the tax has been collected was not a transient; provided, that neither a refund nor a credit shall be allowed unless the amount of the tax so collected has either been refunded to the transient or credited to rent subsequently payable by the transient to the operator.

C. A transient may obtain a refund of taxes overpaid or paid more than once or erroneously or illegally collected or received by the city by filing a claim in the manner provided in subsection (A) of this section, but only when the tax was paid by the transient directly to the tax collector, or where the transient having paid the tax to the operator establishes to the satisfaction of the tax collector that the transient has been unable to obtain a refund from the operator who collected the tax.

D. A federal governmental entity may obtain a refund of taxes paid by filing a claim in the manner provided in subsection (A) of this section, but only when the governmental entity requesting such refund can successfully demonstrate that the accommodations for which the tax was imposed were rented in connection with official federal government business, and therefore, laws relating to exemption from payment of such taxes are applicable.

E. No refund shall be paid under the provisions of this section unless the claimant establishes his right thereto by written records showing entitlement thereto. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 818 § 2; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-23)

3.50.170 Records to be kept.

It shall be the duty of every owner and/or operator liable for the collection and payment of tax imposed by the city pursuant to this article to keep and preserve for a period of at least three years all such records as the city may deem necessary to determine the amount of tax. The city shall have the right to inspect all such records as the city may deem necessary to determine the amount of such tax as the owner and/or operator may have been liable to collect and remit to the city. The city shall have the right to inspect all such records at any time and place. All records which may be necessary to inspect shall be kept within the city or shall be produced upon 10 working days’ written notice at the business location within the city.

Such records shall include at least the following:

A. Owner/operator generated consecutively numbered room receipt documents under procedures established by the finance director or his/her designee. A sample of the room receipt to be given shall be displayed in the transient lodging establishment in such a way as to be readily visible to guests. Such display shall contain an appropriate explanation of the use and purpose of such receipts.

B. A record of each occupancy charge for which exemption is claimed, the city-provided form of exemption, if applicable, including the complete name of the individual occupying the room, dates of occupancy, and reasons for exemptions.

C. All qualifying rental agreements or uniform transient occupancy tax exemption forms.

In the event that records are not produced upon request, or such records are not reasonably auditable, tax, interest, and penalties will be levied based upon the average room rate and occupancies for similar properties within that zone during the audit period. Further, and without limitation, any operator and/or owner who does not produce records following written notice as set forth herein shall pay, in addition to any tax, interest, or penalties due, the sum of $100.00 per day for each day the records are not produced for audit.

The information furnished or secured pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential to the extent allowed by law; provided, however, this section shall not apply to any disclosures made in connection with any appeal proceedings pursuant to this chapter, or any civil action relating to the recovery of such taxes, interest or penalties, or any prosecution of any person for violation of any provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 294 § 2; Ord. 554 § 1; Ord. 680 § 2; Ord. 780 § 3; Ord. 980 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-24)

3.50.230 Warrant for collection of tax.

At any time within three years after any operator is delinquent in the remittance or payment of any amount herein required to be remitted or paid or within three years after the last recording of a certificate under SLTCC 3.50.090. Revocation of permit: the finance director or his/her designee may issue a warrant for the enforcement of any liens and for the collection of any amount required to be paid to the city under this chapter. The warrant shall be directed to any sheriff, marshal, or constable and shall have the same effect as a writ of execution. The warrant shall be levied and sale made pursuant to it in the same manner with the same effect as a levy of and a sale pursuant to a writ of execution. The finance director or his/her designee may pay or advance to the sheriff, marshal, or constable the same fees, commissions and expenses for these services as are provided by law for similar services pursuant to a writ of execution. The finance director or his/her designee, and not the court, shall approve the fees for publication in a newspaper. (Ord. 803 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-25.5)

3.50.240 Seizure and sale.

At any time within three years after any operator is delinquent in the remittance or payment of any amount, the finance director or his/her designee may forthwith collect the amount in the following manner. The finance director or his/her designee shall seize any property, real or personal, of the operator and sell the property, or a sufficient part of it, at public auction to pay the amount due together with any penalties and interest imposed for the delinquency and any costs incurred on account of the seizure and sale. Any seizure made to collect occupancy taxes due shall be only of property of the operator not exempt from execution under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. (Ord. 803 § 1; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-25.6)

Article III. Registration of Guests

3.50.250 Required information to be shown.

No person shall provide transient sleeping accommodations in any transient lodging facility, or other similar place within the city, unless the person requesting such accommodation shall have filled out a register with at least the following information, to wit: names and home addresses of the persons to be accommodated; the make, type, and license number of any automobile, trailer or other vehicle; the state in which such vehicle is registered; and the year of registration. (Ord. 295 § 2; Ord. 780 § 4; Ord. 790 § 5; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-27)

3.50.260 Register to be kept two years.

Such register shall be kept within the city for a period of not less than three years by the person providing the accommodations as specified in SLTCC 3.50.250. (Ord. 295 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-28)

3.50.270 Inspection of register.

Such register shall at all times be available for examination by any employee of the city and by any other duly authorized peace officer or law enforcement officer of the state, federal or any local government. (Ord. 295 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-29)

3.50.280 Fictitious registration.

No person registering at any place as specified in SLTCC 3.50.250 shall register himself or any other person under any false or assumed name or designation, or under the name of any other person or fictitious person, and no person shall knowingly allow himself to be registered under any such false, fictitious or assumed name. No person placing any information required by SLTCC 3.50.250 in any register shall falsely or inaccurately state such information. (Ord. 295 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-30)

3.50.290 Law to be posted.

A copy of this article shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each transient lodging facility as specified in SLTCC 3.50.250. (Ord. 295 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-31)

Article IV. Transit Vehicles

3.50.300 Parking for chartered transit vehicles.

Any transient lodging facility which uses the services of a charter transit company for purposes of delivering patrons to the lodging facility shall comply with the following provisions:

A. Charter transit vehicles must be parked on the premises of the transient lodging facility to which they are delivering patrons. Overnight parking of charter transit vehicles on city streets is prohibited. In the event on-site parking is not possible, any transient lodging facility owner utilizing tour buses shall obtain a special use permit or other planning department approval, as appropriate, for off-site parking.

B. Parking for charter transit vehicles shall be located so as to have the least possible impact on surrounding properties and their occupants. (Ord. 753 § 2; Ord. 1109 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 28A-60)

Article V. Vacation Home Rentals

3.50.370 Definitions.

“Agent” shall mean a person engaged or appointed by an owner to represent and act on behalf of an owner (as defined in these definitions) and to act as an operator, manager and/or local contact person of a dwelling used or to be used as a short-term rental unit or short-term rental property and designated as such by the owner.

“Bear box” shall mean a locked container affixed to the ground which is utilized for the storage of trash and is designed to prevent access to its contents by wildlife.

“Condominium” shall mean a dwelling unit in a residential development that is under a legal arrangement specifying that the unit is individually owned but the common areas are owned, controlled, and maintained through an organization consisting of all individual owners.

“Director of development services” shall mean the city’s director of development services or his/her designee. In the event the director of development services position is vacant or ceases to exist, “director of development services” shall mean the city manager or his/her designee.

“Dwelling” shall mean a building, or portion thereof, designed exclusively for residential purposes, including single-family and multifamily dwellings, condominiums, and timeshares but not including hotels, motels, boardinghouses and lodging houses. “Dwelling” shall also mean a dwelling unit on the same parcel as a legally established single-family dwelling that has its own complete independent living accommodations and facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. “Multifamily dwelling” shall mean a dwelling in which multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants are contained within one building or several buildings within one complex.

“Effective date” is defined as the date of passage by the voters.

“Expiration date” is defined as December 31, 2021.

“Guest house” is a separate living space, with or without cooking facilities, on the same parcel as a legally established single-family dwelling.

Homeowners Property Tax Exemption. The California Constitution provides for the exemption of $7,000 in assessed value from the property tax assessment of any property owned and occupied as the owner’s principal place of residence under said exemption. (Article XIII Section 3 of the California Constitution, California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 218).

“Occupant” shall mean any person who is on or in a short-term rental property other than service providers or the owner, whether or not the person stays overnight.

“Operator” shall mean the owner or the designated agent of the owner who is responsible for compliance with this chapter.

“Owner” shall mean the person(s) or entity(ies) that hold legal or equitable title to a dwelling.

“Pending application” shall mean a complete application for a vacation home rental permit filed with the development services director that has not been approved or denied by the city prior to December 21, 2017.

“Permanent resident” is defined as a person who deems his or her dwelling to be their principal place of residency and resides in said residence for the majority of the year, in the city of South Lake Tahoe, and provides proof of a “homeowners property tax exemption” for the subject residence.

“Qualified vacation home rental” is described as any dwelling located within a residential zone, whose owner is a permanent resident of the city of South Lake Tahoe, residing in said dwelling for the majority of the year. Said owner shall be entitled to vacation rent the entire dwelling for up to 30 (consecutive or nonconsecutive) days total per one year permit period.

“Renewal application” shall mean an application for a renewed vacation home rental permit which application may be submitted by the vacation home rental applicant.

“Rent” shall have that definition set forth in SLTCC 3.00.010.

“Residential zones, commercial zones and the tourist core area” are delineated in CSLT 2017 Plan Area Map.

“Vacation home rental” shall mean the rent or rental of an entire dwelling, by the owner or operator to another person or group of persons for occupancy, dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes for a period of less than 30 consecutive calendar days. The rental of units within city-approved hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts shall not be considered to be vacation home rentals.

“Vacation home rental applicant” shall mean the person(s) or entity(ies) who apply for a vacation home rental permit by submitting and signing a vacation home rental application. A vacation home rental applicant may be an owner(s) of the dwelling unit, an agent(s), or another authorized representative(s) of an owner of the dwelling unit.

“Vacation home rental permit” shall mean a permit issued to the property owner and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter that allows the use of a dwelling as a short-term rental.

“Vacation home rental property” shall mean a parcel of real property, as shown on the latest equalized tax assessment roll as maintained by the assessor of the county of El Dorado, upon which a vacation home rental(s) is (are) maintained. “Vacation home rental property” includes the premises upon which a vacation home rental is located, including parking areas, driveways, landscaping, accessory structures, fences, walls, swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, tennis and paddleboard courts, and other similar and related improvements.

“Vacation home rental waitlist” shall mean when the number of permits issued by the city exceeds the cap, the development services department will accept applications to be placed on a list to be used when permits for issuance become available. (Ord. 1114 § 3; Measure T*, passed at November 6, 2018 election)

*    Code reviser’s note: The text of the citizen initiative amending this section (Measure T, passed at the November 6, 2018 election) adds definitions to Section 3.50.070. These have been added to Section 3.50.370, the intended definitions section concerning vacation home rentals.

3.50.380 Vacation home rentals – General provisions.

A. Vacation Home Rentals Allowed. Subject to the provisions of this article, vacation home rentals shall be permitted within the city.

B. Vacation Home Rental Permit Required to Operate. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to rent, maintain, facilitate, advertise or list a dwelling unit as a short term rental without a valid vacation home rental permit issued pursuant to this article.

C. Vacation Home Rental Permits Nontransferable.

1. Permit – Site Specific. It shall be unlawful for any person to give, grant or otherwise transfer a vacation home rental permit from one dwelling unit to another.

2. Transfer of Permits Prohibited. All permits issued by the city pursuant to this article shall be nontransferable to a different person or entity to whom said permit was issued.

(a) Notwithstanding subsection (C)(2) of this section, a permit may be transferred from one owner of a vacation home rental to another owner of the vacation home rental as long as the transferee was an owner of the vacation home rental at the time the vacation home rental application was submitted to the city.

3. Upon any change of ownership of a vacation home rental property, an initial vacation home rental application shall be submitted pursuant to SLTCC 3.50.390(A).

D. Multifamily Dwellings.

1. It shall be unlawful to rent, lease, use or operate a multifamily dwelling as a vacation home rental.

2. Notwithstanding subsection (D)(1) of this section, owners of multifamily dwelling units with a valid vacation home rental permit on September 1, 2016, may continue to apply for a renewed vacation home rental permit for said multifamily dwelling and will be issued or denied a renewal permit based on the criteria of SLTCC 3.50.410.

3. Owners of a multifamily dwelling unit with a valid vacation home rental permit on the effective date of the initiative codified in this section shall continue to be eligible for renewal of said multifamily dwelling permit. A renewal permit will be issued or denied based on the criteria in SLTCC 3.50.410. All multifamily dwelling unit permits will be discontinued on the expiration date of their permit in the year 2021.

E. Agency. An owner may retain an agent, local representative or local contact person to comply with the requirements of this article, including, without limitation, the filing of an application for a vacation home rental permit, the management of the vacation home rental and the compliance with the conditions of the permit. The owner of the vacation home rental is responsible for compliance with the provisions of this article and the failure of an agent, representative, or local contact person to comply with this article shall not relieve the owner of his/her obligations as set forth in this article.

F. Repealed by Measure T.

G. Taxes.

1. Business and professions taxes, as set forth in Chapter 3.35 SLTCC, shall be assessed for vacation home rentals.

2. Transient occupancy tax shall be assessed for vacation home rentals.

H. Permits and Fees Not Exclusive. Permits and fees required by this article shall be in addition to any license, permit or fee required under any provision of the city code. The issuance of any permit pursuant to this article shall not relieve the owner or operator of the vacation home rental from his/her obligation to comply with all other provisions of the city code pertaining to use and occupancy of the vacation home rental.

I. Pending Applications. Pending applications shall be reviewed under the provisions of this article. Applicants of pending applications shall have no right, entitlement, or expectation of issuance of a vacation home rental permit. (Ord. 1114 § 3; Measure T, passed at November 6, 2018 election)

3.50.390 Vacation home rental application procedures.

A. Initial Applications.

1. All persons or entities interested in operating a vacation home rental may submit a vacation home rental application along with the application fee in an amount set forth in the city’s master fee schedule.

2. It shall be the applicant’s responsibility to provide all information and materials required to comply with the vacation home rental application submittal requirements.

3. The filing date of the vacation home rental application shall be the date when the director of development services officially receives the last submission of information or materials required by subsection (B) of this section and the application is deemed complete. If the director of development services determines an application submittal is incomplete, a vacation home rental applicant shall be notified of such incompleteness within 30 calendar days of receipt of the vacation home rental application by the development services department. If the director of development services does not receive a complete application within the additional 30 days, he/she shall no longer consider that application and instead, he/she shall continue to review applications on the VHR waitlist.

4. All vacation home rental applications which have been deemed complete by the director of development services shall be placed on the South Lake Tahoe vacation home rental waitlist (“VHR waitlist”) in the order of the application’s filing date. Vacation home rental applications shall only be reviewed by the development services director in the order of ranking as established by the VHR waitlist.

5. Where vacation home rental permits are available subject to SLTCC 3.50.380(F), applications on the VHR waitlist shall be considered on a quarterly basis by the director of development services in the order of ranking as established by the VHR waitlist. Once a vacation home rental permit becomes available and the application is deemed complete, the director of development services shall conduct an inspection of the vacation home rental within 14 days. Vacation home rental applicants shall have 45 days to make all changes and improvements to the vacation home rental which are required by the city pursuant to the inspection. If the vacation home rental applicant fails to make all changes and improvements to the vacation home rental within 45 days of the inspection, said applicant’s vacation home rental application shall be placed on the bottom of the VHR waitlist.

6. The director of development services shall continue to review applications and inspect vacation home rental properties until all applications on the VHR waitlist have been reviewed or until the city can issue no further vacation home rental permits based on SLTCC 3.50.380(F).

7. Inspections.

(a) The director of development services shall inspect all dwelling units prior to issuing a vacation home rental permit for said dwelling unit.

(b) Vacation home rental permit applicants may be required to make improvements or changes to the proposed vacation home rental property in order to ensure that the proposed vacation home rental property conforms with all plan area statements and building code standards which were in effect at time of construction of the vacation home rental property and that no health and safety violations which threaten the well-being of guests, neighbors or the community are present at the vacation home rental property.

(c) Notwithstanding subsections (A)(7)(a) and (b) of this section, inspections shall not be required for VHR renewal applications.

(d) Notwithstanding subsections (A)(7)(a) and (b) of this section, inspections shall not be required for vacation home rentals located in the tourist core area plan.

(e) Notwithstanding subsections (A)(7)(a) and (b) of this section, inspections shall not be required for timeshares.

B. Vacation Home Rental Application and Renewal Application Filing Requirements.

1. Vacation home rental applications and renewal applications shall be submitted on forms provided by the city and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(a) Owner(s) name(s).

(b) Local contact information, management agency contact information or authorized representative contact information.

(c) Square footage of home.

(d) Owner mailing address.

(e) Proposed vacation home rental address and assessor’s parcel number.

(f) Vacation home rental permit number, if existing vacation home rental.

(g) Maximum occupancy of vacation home rental.

(h) Number of paved parking spaces on the vacation home rental property.

(i) Identification of outdoor hot tub, if any.

(j) Local contact number with 24-hour availability for reporting violations.

2. Vacation home rental applications and renewal applications filed by agents, representatives, or authorized representatives of the owner of the vacation home rental property shall include a declaration that such application is being made with the consent of the vacation home rental owner.

3. Vacation home rental applications and renewal applications shall be accompanied by a declaration that any and all applicable covenants, conditions and restrictions are consistent with and would not prohibit issuance of a vacation home rental permit for the proposed property.

4. The vacation home rental application and renewal application shall be accompanied by an application fee in an amount set forth by separate resolution of the city council which amount is calculated to recover the city’s full cost of reviewing, issuing and administering said permit.

5. If a renewal application is denied, and the applicant wishes to operate a vacation home rental, he/she must initiate a vacation home rental application by filing an initial application and complying with the procedures of subsection (A) of this section. (Ord. 1114 § 3)

3.50.400 Expiration and renewal of vacation home rental permits.

A. Vacation home rental permits shall expire one year after their issuance.

B. Vacation home rental permits must be renewed on an annual basis prior to expiration by filing with the director of development services a renewal application and a renewal fee.

C. If a timely renewal application is filed, the vacation home rental permit shall not expire until the date that the director of development services approves or denies the renewal application. If a timely renewal application is not filed, the vacation home rental permit shall expire and shall be considered null and void.

D. A renewal application shall be subject to all filing requirements set forth in SLTCC 3.50.390(B).

E. The director of development services shall issue or deny a renewal application in accordance with the provisions of SLTCC 3.50.410(C). (Ord. 1114 § 3)

3.50.410 Review, issuance and denial of vacation home rental permit applications.

A. Vacation home rental permits shall only be issued to the owner(s) of the vacation home rental property.

B. Criteria for Issuance – Initial Application. The director of development services shall issue a vacation home rental permit where he/she makes all of the following findings:

1. The vacation home rental application is complete and the applicant has complied with the submittal requirements of SLTCC 3.50.390(B).

2. Inspection of the vacation home rental property has shown that the proposed vacation home rental property conforms with all plan area statements and building code standards which were in effect at time of construction of the vacation home rental property and that no health and safety violations which threaten the wellbeing of guests, neighbors or the community are present at the vacation home rental property.

3. Neither the vacation home rental property nor the vacation home rental applicant has received three or more upheld citations within any three events and/or calls for service for violations of the city code which citations were issued during three separate events and/or calls for service within any 24-month period. For purposes of this section, upheld citations means citations which were neither overturned on appeal nor dismissed.

4. The vacation home rental property contains sufficient paved parking spaces to accommodate the maximum number of occupants. All required parking shall be constructed on the vacation home rental property prior to operation as a vacation home rental.

5. On the effective date, the VHR cap of 1,400 is eliminated.

a. Vacation home rentals of real property will continue to be permitted in commercial zones or the tourist core area of the city of South Lake Tahoe.

C. Criteria for Issuance – Renewal Application. The director of development services shall issue a renewed vacation home rental permit where he/she makes all of the following findings:

1. The renewal application is complete and the applicant has complied with the submittal requirements of SLTCC 3.50.390(B).

2. There have not been three or more upheld citations issued for violations of the city code which citations were issued during three separate events and/or calls for service within any 24-month period. For purposes of this subsection, upheld citations means citations which were neither overturned on appeal nor dismissed.

3. The vacation home rental permit has not lapsed, expired, been revoked, or suspended.

4. The vacation home rental is current on transient occupancy taxes and has paid all said taxes to the city in full by the date upon which said taxes became due.

5. The vacation home rental permit has not been transferred to another person, entity, or property.

D. Criteria for Denial. Vacation home rental permits shall not be issued or renewed where the director of development services confirms that one or more of the criteria for issuance set forth in subsections (B) and (C) of this section have not been met. If the director of development services denies the vacation home rental application or renewal application, he or she shall specify in writing the reasons for the denial and notify the applicant that the decision shall become final unless the applicant seeks an appeal pursuant to SLTCC 3.50.430.

E. Any vacation home rental permit that is current on the effective date, issued to any property owner(s) by the city of South Lake Tahoe for a vacation home rental in a residential zone, shall continue in force and be eligible for renewal until the permit’s expiration date in the year 2021.

No new or additional vacation rental permits will be issued to a nonqualified property owner after the effective date of the initiative codified in this section.

All existing permits, except qualified VHR permits, will be discontinued by the expiration date, December 31, 2021, unless the permit is revoked prior to December 31, 2021 under provisions in SLTCC 3.50.420.

F. Qualified Vacation Home Rental Permit. An owner who is a permanent resident of the city of South Lake Tahoe, and whose dwelling is located in a residential zone in the city of South Lake Tahoe and who resides in said dwelling for the majority of the year, shall be entitled to rent the entire dwelling for up to 30 (consecutive or nonconsecutive) days total per one-year permit period.

1. This use shall be limited to only the owner-occupied dwelling unit or one guest house on the same parcel.

2. A vacation rental permit for this type of qualified vacation rental use shall be required and can be applied for at any time after the effective date.

3. The owner must provide proof of a homeowners property tax exemption for the subject property.

4. These permits are eligible for renewal beyond December 31, 2021.

5. A permit fee will be required along with the collection of transient occupancy tax (TOT). (Ord. 1114 § 3; Ord. 1120 § 3; Measure T, passed at November 6, 2018 election)

3.50.420 Revocation of vacation home rental permit.

A. A vacation home rental permit issued under the terms of this article shall be revoked by the director of development services at any time if he or she concludes any of the following:

1. The vacation home rental is not current on transient occupancy taxes and has not paid all said taxes to the city in full by the date upon which said taxes became due.

2. There have been three or more upheld citations for violations of the city code which citations were issued during three separate events and/or calls for service for violations of the city code at the vacation home service within any 24-month period. For purposes of this section, upheld citations means citations which were neither overturned on appeal nor dismissed.

3. The vacation home rental applicant has submitted a vacation home rental application containing a material misrepresentation or omission of a material fact.

4. There has been a transfer or an attempt to transfer a vacation home rental permit to another person, entity or property.

B. A vacation home rental permit suspended or revoked pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be expired and shall no longer authorize the operation of a vacation home rental. (Ord. 1114 § 3; Ord. 1120 § 3)

3.50.430 Appeal from director of development services’ determination.

An applicant or any interested party who disagrees with the director of development services’ decision to issue, deny, revoke, or suspend a vacation home rental permit may appeal that decision to the planning commission in accordance with the appeal provisions of Chapter 2.35 SLTCC. (Ord. 1114 § 3)

3.50.440 Conditions of operation.

All vacation home rentals shall be operated, maintained and managed on a day-to-day basis in compliance with the following operational conditions and requirements. Violation of any of the below conditions of operations shall subject the owner to citation in accordance with SLTCC 3.50.450. Violation of conditions of operation set forth in subsections (A), (C), (H), (K), (L), (O) and (Q) of this section shall subject any occupant found violating such condition to citation in accordance with SLTCC 3.50.450.

A. Occupancy of all VHRs in residential zones shall be calculated by multiplying the number of bedrooms by two. The maximum occupancy for any vacation rental is 12. The number of on-site paved parking spaces required equals one per four occupants. The voluntary reduction of occupancy in order to reduce fees is not permitted.

B. Each parking space required for a vacation home rental permit shall remain available for vacation home rental occupants. Each parking space shall be no less than nine feet wide and 19 feet long.

C. Commercial Activity Prohibited. Vacation home rentals shall not be used for commercial activities, including, but not limited to, weddings, receptions and large parties. All occupants of the vacation home rental shall be notified of the prohibition against commercial activities prior to the reservation, rental, or lease of a vacation home rental.

D. The owner of the vacation home rental shall be responsible for compliance with all provisions of the South Lake Tahoe City Code.

E. The owner of the vacation home rental shall post a copy of the permit and a copy of the conditions set forth in this section in a conspicuous place within the vacation home rental property.

F. All marketing and advertising of the vacation home rental shall include the vacation home rental permit number issued by the city.

G. The owner shall agree to and authorize the city to enter the vacation home rental for the purpose of inspections when the city has received complaints of substandard housing conditions and/or has been made aware of substandard housing conditions.

H. Use of all outdoor spas or hot tubs shall be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

I. Interior Signage. Vacation home rentals shall have a clearly visible and legible notice posted on or directly adjacent to the inside of the front door, containing the following information:

1. The name of the managing agency, authorized representative, property manager, or local contact person, and a telephone number enabled for text messaging at which that person may be reached on a 24-hour basis. Any change in this contact person’s address or telephone number shall be promptly furnished to the city development services department;

2. The maximum number of occupants for the vacation home rental;

3. The maximum number of vehicles permitted to be parked on the vacation home rental property;

4. The parking rules for seasonal snow removal;

5. The trash pickup day and notification that trash and refuse shall not be left or stored on the exterior of the property except in a bear box;

6. Notification that an occupant may be cited and fined for creating a disturbance or for violating any provision(s) of this article; and

7. Notification that failure to conform to the parking and occupancy limits of the vacation home rental is a violation of this article.

J. Exterior Signage. Vacation home rentals shall have a clearly visible and legible exterior sign, posted in a location which is visible from the adjacent right-of-way, containing the following information:

1. The name of the managing agency, authorized representative, property manager, local contact person or owner of the vacation home rental, and a telephone number at which that party may be reached on a 24-hour basis;

2. The maximum number of occupants for the vacation home rental;

3. The maximum number of vehicles permitted to be parked on the vacation home rental property;

4. The telephone number of the police department vacation home rental hotline, and the police department’s email address;

5. This section of the South Lake Tahoe City Code.

K. Parking. Occupants of vacation home rentals shall not park on areas of the vacation home rental property not designated as parking spaces.

L. Noise. In addition to all noise standards set forth in the city code and TRPA Code, the use of any equipment generating noise and the use of outdoor amplified music, speakers or other amplified equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

M. Emergency lighting (which may consist of plug-in or permanently installed systems) shall be installed, maintained and functional within the home at all times.

N. Any lights used to illuminate a vacation home rental property shall be designed so as to not spray onto adjoining properties and adjacent rights-of-way.

O. Parking of commercial vehicle(s) on vacation home rental property, except temporarily for durations of less than four hours, shall be prohibited.

P. Records of every night for which the vacation home rental is rented, including the name and contact information of the occupant who has arranged to rent the vacation home rental, the rental rate, the number of occupants per night, and the number of vehicles, shall be maintained for a minimum period of three years before such records are discarded or destroyed. Such records shall be made available to the city within 15 business days upon written request from the city.

Q. Camping and sleeping in tents, travel trailers, campers or recreational vehicles shall not be permitted on the vacation home rental property.

R. Trash. Bear boxes shall be installed on the vacation home rental property and all trash shall be disposed of in said bear boxes. All bear boxes shall remain functional and maintained so as to ensure that wildlife cannot access trash. The requirements of this subsection shall not apply to any person whose vacation home rental is within a common interest development subject to the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, as set forth in Cal. Civ. Code § 4000 et seq.; provided, that the board of directors of the association governing the common interest development has implemented rules or regulations requiring and enforcing the regular disposal of trash within such common interest development.

1. Table 1 of this subsection establishes the number of trash cans within bear boxes required of vacation home rental properties.

Table 1. Minimum Number of Trash Cans within Bear Box

Size of Home

Number of Trash Cans

Less than 2,500 square feet

2

2,500 – 3,500 square feet

3

Greater than 3,500 square feet

4

2. Vacation home rental owners and operators shall arrange for the necessary level of trash pick-up, drop-off, or other trash removal from the property so as to ensure that no trash is left on the street, exterior of the dwelling unit, or the right-of-way.

3. All required bear boxes shall be installed by July 31, 2018.

S. Owner or authorized agent shall include the vacation home rental permit number on all contracts, rental agreements, and in any advertising or websites depicting the vacation home rental.

T. Transient Occupancy Tax.

1. The owner of the vacation home rental shall remit all transient occupancy tax payments and comply with Article II of this chapter. (Ord. 1114 § 3; Ord. 1120 § 3; Measure T, passed at November 6, 2018 election)

3.50.450 Enforcement.

A. Any use or condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any provision of this article shall be and hereby is declared a public nuisance and may be summarily abated by the city pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 731 or any other remedy available to the city.

B. Any use or condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to citation in an amount set forth by separate resolution of the city council.

C. Where an owner or agent of the vacation home rental reports a violation of any provision of this article which violation was caused or permitted to exist by the vacation home rental occupants, the city shall not issue a citation to said vacation home rental owner, and shall only issue a citation, where warranted, to the occupants.

D. Owner(s) or their agent(s) found operating a VHR without a permit after the expiration date (December 31, 2021) shall be fined a minimum of $1,000 per violation. (Ord. 1114 § 3; Measure T, passed at November 6, 2018 election)

3.50.460 No property rights conferred.

Vacation home rental permits shall not be construed as providing property rights or vested interests and entitlements in continued operation of a vacation home rental. Vacation home rental permits are revocable licenses which expire annually. Vacation home rental permits shall not run with the land. (Ord. 1114 § 3)