Measure T, perhaps one of the most difficult and contentious issues facing our community in recent memory, passed by a narrow 58-vote margin, showing that the decision to ban vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe's non-tourist core areas, while confirmed, is certainly not a mandate.
Proving this point, our three newly-elected City Council officials each held a platform that a compromise on this issue should have been reached before it ever reached the ballot box. In fact, the only candidate that outwardly supported a full ban on vacation rentals did not obtain enough votes to be in the top five vote-getters.
Wednesday's edition of the SF Weekly showed the headline "Attention Skiers: South Lake Tahoe Bans Short Term Rentals." This is what our potential visitors will see and hear, and a majority won't understand the difference between "tourist core areas" and "residential areas." If we have to explain, we've already lost our message and potentially our visitors.
Our newly-elected leaders, in partnership with the current remaining council members, need to understand the dynamics of this situation and work diligently and immediately toward a compromise.
All affected parties will need to be brought to the table and understand the requirement to compromise for the greater good of our tourism community.
So many facets of our community depend on our visitors that obtaining a compromised balance is a matter of business survival for some of them.
It's time to lead, council members.
South Lake Tahoe, California