The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:   

1. Board conducted first reading of much-anticipated ordinances for short-term rentals: As the use of short-term rentals (STRs) has increased, the need for ordinances regulating them has become a top priority for Washoe County. There are approximately 500 to 1,200 STRs in unincorporated Washoe County, a number that varies by season and the vast majority (90 percent) of which are in Incline Village/Crystal Bay. Beginning in February 2019 with public comment, surveys, workshops, meetings, and small-group input, Washoe County determined that the top issues concerning residents are parking, trash, noise, and occupancy limits.  

The Board of County Commissioners conducted the first reading and introduction of the proposed ordinances in a public hearing today. The ordinances work to define what a short-term rental is, and create specific requirements to mitigate the issues of concern, as well as to create an enforcement process. Highlights of the ordinances include no parties or events including weddings, quiet hours, one parking space per four occupants and no on-street parking, and use of wildlife-resistant trash containers.  

Having introduced the first reading, the next step is to hear a second reading in March, where they will determine a fees and fines schedule. Washoe County will collect feedback during the summer travel season and modify the ordinances as needed before the end of the year. View the STR presentation here.  

“I appreciate those who have called in to comment. I know that there are engaged people in this community and want to see the community be better,” Commissioner Alexis Hill said. “I think it’s important that we move forward to pass this ordinance for the summer. My constituency has some concerns over safety, and we can update and implement as we go along. Let’s introduce and conduct the first reading.” 

“I’ve received hundreds of emails and I’ve read your concerns on both sides of the issue. This is a challenging discussion and has taken a long time to get where we are,” Chair Bob Lucey said. “I believe the way staff has drafted the motion, it gives us the latitude to work over the details over a period of time. We can work on fees, fines, permitting concerns, and different issues that would pertain to this, and what we’re doing is introducing the ability to create that short-term resident article within our ordinances. If we don’t move, we will find ourselves at the end of summer without having any enforcement, and that would be worse. Thank you to staff and all our regional partners who have worked on this.” 

2. Commissioners directed Incline Village property tax settlement to be paid by all taxing entities: In August 2020, Commissioners agreed to pay a $56 million settlement to Incline Village residents following years of litigation and a court opinion ordering repayment of overpaid taxes. In today’s meeting, Commissioners unanimously decided that all entities that benefited from the overpayment of property taxes including the Incline Village General Improvement District, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, the State of Nevada, and the Washoe County School District will pay their respective share of overpaid taxes and interest. The county will withhold subsequent apportionments of property tax revenue and interest from those other taxing entities in the amounts described below. Information on the agenda items can be found here and here.  

“I commend you, Chairman, for the work you’ve done with the school district to make sure that they feel heard and a part of this process.  I know there’s more work to do, but I know you’ve been working with their team,” Commissioner Alexis Hill, who represents District 1 including Incline Village, said. “It’s contentious because it’s money and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, but the county will find a way to help them, and I appreciate the way you’ve worked with them.” 

Chair Bob Lucey agreed that the county would continue to work with the school district and that the details of repayment would be worked out with all parties at a future time. 

“The county’s responsibility has always been to collect and disperse these tax revenues and help fund all our entities and services with all 24 county departments. That is our no. 1 priority, and what we’re trying to do here today is exactly that,” Lucey said. “We have to right the wrongs that happened from the sins of our forefathers. None of us were here then, but we’ve been dealt this situation to deal with and we’ll deal with it. It’s been far too long. It’s disappointing we have to do this but this is the hand we’ve been dealt and it’s the right thing to do.” 

Estimated Allocation of Taxpayer Refunds 
Taxing Entity Refunds Interest Total 
Washoe County $12,200,000 $11,500,000 23,700,000 
Washoe County School District 10,000,000 9,400,000 19,400,000 
North Lake Tahoe FPD 4,500,000 4,200,000 8,700,000 
State of Nevada 1,500,000 1,400,000 2,900,000 
IVGID 700,000 600,000 1,300,000 
Totals $28,900,000 $27,100,000 $56,000,000 

3. Commissioners accepted donations to the Washoe County Juvenile Services and Emergency Management Division: The two donations on the agenda were unanimously accepted by Commissioners: 

  • $13,841 from the Northern Nevada Youth Foundation to support juvenile programs at the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center. The donation pays for meals for juveniles and their families, as well as gift cards used as incentive rewards.  
  • A 2005 utility trailer from New West Distributing Company for the Washoe County Emergency Management Division. The trailer is one of two donated by New West Distributing, valued at $500, with the other being received by Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue. The trailer will be used to transport and hold supplies for disasters and emergencies.