STATELINE, Nevada – Douglas County Commissioners have rejected a proposed settlement in a federal lawsuit over vacation home rentals.
The commissioners voted 5-0 to reject the regulation and a revision of the ordinance to codify it.
Several residents spoke out against the settlement of the ordinance, urging the commissioners to be strong.
Stateline resident Tim Barabe called on the commissioners to stand firm in complying with the order.
“The residents of Douglas County oppose any compromise here,” he said. “Pay attention to the people who live here and vote for them. “
Commissioners John Engels and Wes Rice attended the settlement conference.
“I am the commissioner who proposed the moratorium on ORVs,” Engels said. “I am convinced that these ORVs are a plague on our communities. “
Engels urged residents of Tahoe to call for a referendum to eliminate all vacation rentals in the county.
Rice, a resident of Lake Tahoe, said he was trying to resolve the lawsuit so the county’s order could go forward.
“I just wanted something to be resolved,” he said.
Commissioner Danny Tarkanian strongly opposed the settlement, saying the plaintiffs were protecting their business interests, not their rights.
“The only reason we’re here today is because nine wealthy ORV owners hired a powerful lawyer to come and threaten Douglas County,” Tarkanian said. “We’re going to have a limit on ORVs, but because one guy had enough money to hire a powerful lawyer, he’s going to keep five for 10 years?”
It doesn’t seem fair to me, it doesn’t seem fair and it sounds like a complete dereliction of duty on the part of the county commissioners.
Tarkanian said he believes the ORV lawsuit settlement will encourage others to sue the county.
“This advice must show that it will not be intimidated by nine people protecting their business interests.”
Rice said Tarkanian’s argument won her vote.
“It’s a hell of a good point,” he said. “You influenced me. “
Commission Chairman Mark Gardner said he had a problem with provisions in the regulation that would bar a commissioner from proposing changes to the ordinance until 2031.
Modifications may be proposed by the ORV ordinance advisory committee.
“I don’t believe the voters would want us to cede our legislative responsibilities to another group of people,” he said.
The county approved the vacation home rental ordinance in June 2021 to take effect on July 15. Nine vacation home owners sued the county. An injunction preventing the county from implementing elements of the order has been issued by a federal judge.
With the settlement off the table, a preliminary injunction hearing has been set for January 31, and District Judge Robert Jones will likely allow the case to be discovered.