Opinion - South Lake Tahoe's Invasion of VHRs hits PG

by Placerville Newswire / Jun 30, 2018 / comments

[R.J. Goad, Pacific Grove]

We lived in South Lake Tahoe for eight years, starting in 2003. It was a great place to live, just like Pacific Grove. But no longer. 

The number of owner-residents in South Lake Tahoe has decreased dramatically. The area has been infested with short-term rentals, with in excess of 2,200 permits having been issued by the city and the county. It didn’t start off at 2,200, but when the politicians got a taste for TOT (transient occupancy tax) they kept adding to the number. The area has a population roughly equivalent to Pacific Grove. Permanent residents are leaving. They are being replaced by transients living in homes owned by distant investors who have never and will never live there. Neither the renters nor the new owners have a vested interest in the community. And it shows. Population is down, school census is down, and small businesses are hurting and/or going under. You could almost say that no one lives there anymore.

The people of Pacific Grove are facing a choice on the November ballot. Option 1 is to stand by while our residential neighborhoods become a warren of mini-motels, a virtual cash-cow for the city managers. Option 2 is to maintain our city as “America’s last hometown.” Pick one. You cannot have both.

— R.J. Goad, Pacific Grove