Concerns re:

(new codes) & Short Term Rentals (STR) 

Emergency

Misc County Issues

-detailed below-  (compatible for desktop view - not intended for mobile device)

To Whom It May Concern, 

Thank you for asking and also allowing me the opportunity to share my STR and COVID-19 experience as a property owner and a concerned STR patron.  

In addition I have some concerns to address with the County that over lap the new STR codes, COVID119 , Seasonal Emergency   Issues & Responses. 

Example is : my residential loop street right off the HWY (minutes from 2 fire-stations- so why the lag) and if our emergency and county efforts are as such than how can we be diligent in emergencies more rural?   My issues encompass: STR's, full time residence : all categories:  elderly and house caught fire and did fire prevention- thank goodness , the house between mine and the house that caught fire does not do any fire &/or house maintenance (timber box) & a constant problem house with long term renters who where caught illegally STR profiting & possibly still continuing unethical practices (see below). 

I appreciate the forum to do so as I have experienced some grievances and this is a nice cathartic way to express and share my real concerns.  I also want to thank the ones who deserve credit (see below).   

Just prior to the COIVD-19 news frenzy I was very focused on the season at hand.   

It snowed over Thanksgiving and not again until recently.   We have had a very dry winter start.   I enjoyed not having to shovel, however I knew we needed water.  

I hoped to get to see my dad (retired from US military, moved to Hawaii) and my mom (who has been in the mid-west and was going to fly over once I got situated with dad in Hawaii) this late winter season. I had planned all year to take February and March off to do so.   

To my dismay, Placer County gave property owners new code ordinances for short term (vacation) rentals: (Noticed January 17 to be completed by March 31st).   I found the County letter of Permit Update Compliance to be demanding. This was priceless time I should have been with my family. STR put me at health risk as the end of January and into March were not the right months to push someone like me to be outside working on fire codes, and unbeknownst, but to add to further insult next came the COVID concern!  The STR changes are proven to be justified to me as they are most expensive for me, an individual (and more expensive than any other Placer County Individual business license fee and renewal).   ( see my email exchange between):   

From: J Swedelius [mailto:rentalstay@outlook.com

From: J Swedelius [mailto:rentalstay@outlook.com
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2020 11:05 PM 
To: STR <STR@placer.ca.gov>; REV Transient Occupancy Tax <TOT@placer.ca.gov
Subject: Fw: TAX PAYER'S REPLY TO --- Re: Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance Update - continued 

 

From: Doug Jastrow <DWJastro@placer.ca.gov
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:37 AM 
To: J Swedelius <rentalstay@outlook.com
Subject: RE: TAX PAYER'S REPLY TO --- Re: Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance Update - continued...} 

I couldn't believe it.   We all had to readjust our next couple of weeks.  I was just shy of depression because of all the fire turmoil in Australia; so I took it all to heart.  We all understand the value of that. This postponement news was also disappointing to my family, whom I planned to be visiting. I no longer could make the dates because the County wants: subcontractor check list, fire codes, more fees for more permits, etc... all by March 31st.  I have always been in compliance and good standing. 

My family and I also understood the overall requests were for the most part for the right reasons: fire prevention is paramount and if my community who is renting STR also has to comply then that makes me happy that our town was being more stream lined with a focus on updated codes regarding fire prevention.   

Fire prevention wise, that does make sense and it has been a dry winter, so summer seems fragile.  I am glad though that I got busy with spring and summer outside chores and it does feel better knowing that a lot of us in the community are hunkering down for fire prevention.  Cal Fire is very serious and using Australia in everything they want to get their point across with quickly.    

My head cannot take much more of the government (& Smokey the bear) and pressing my fear factor as the way to communicate their point,. I took a day off from the news and it was the best thing for my headaches.  I was exhausted the last few weeks and did not know how long it would take me because of weather on top of all of my original to do's and itinerary.    

So, I got angry with the County for the exorbitant amount of work this caused:  physical in the cold (risking my health) and expensive at a time of off season for me, very demanding with their verbiage in official letters and time frame! But I put my best foot forward and did the work, knowing that definitely from an environmental stand point I did agree that new code ordinances are a good idea here in the Tahoe and surrounding areas.   

Next is from my economical point of view 

 

 
It was quite the tedious,(time consuming  (time is $), very frustrating process and also very demanding of a deadline. I was grateful we had a break from weather (no snow in the region) just so I would not have that chore on top of finishing the newest in criteria from the STR updates.  I submitted my application and just received my Certificate from the County on March 9th 2020.   

These pictures represent a few examples of how much work that was required in a short amount of time during the winter and we achieved that. 

Next (only after passing the County's approval) is the approval of the Fire Department.  My request for inspection is in with the Fire Department.   

All fees are paid (I have stated I find to be expensive for me, an individual who was already compliant $347.00) = to the County of Placer which includes the Fire Department's fees.   

  

The Fire Dept was already swamped due to the new code update inquiries and properties that need to be checked. Now that I have submitted my application to them they will issue your inspection date, but not get back to me with until date April 1st.   So basically it’s a sit and wait game which is very frustrating because I do not know if I can use any time productively and go see my family!!! 

Needless to say that really messed up the last few months (to see my family) and a tad into the future because I still (to the date of this writing) don't know the Fire Department’s date of our property inspection.   

 

After my frustration started to subside from that while I was achieving the last of the requirements, I also recognized that this may weed out some of the competition.  This is a good thing too. There were a lot of properties not doing things on the up & up.  Tahoe was getting pushed to the max on its infrastructure for the last decade +.    {As I have seen firsthand (as well as my family & classmates IHS '91). 

I am 47 years old and lived on Park Lane for 28 years (owned for 20) (I believe I know this street) and the concerns surrounding the Crystal Bay Fire-lookout and more in our local area (I grew up on Jennifer St above the fire-station & we were one of four families evacuated because of  that avalanche in 1986).  .  

I am one of the very few property owners that was raised here (all school systems locally, purchased my home before the main market boom 20 years ago so I wouldn't be priced out of my own home town, have a  different working  career independent of STR, volunteer with wild horse causes in the neighboring mountain ranges, and am an extreme sports person}.  I purchased my property and rented it before there were online DIY rental companies, so I have been in 'the know' for a while.  I was due to raise my rates and get in the going rate scale (as also professionally suggested for my property). Yay, to all of that! 

In current day:

Then on March 26th, 2020, after I got my copy of the Placer County STR Permit, and have a copy of paid fees; I got a letter NOTICE OF PERMIT REQUIREMENT , stating that their records indicate that you have not received my STR requirement information and I have not obtained a STR Permit.  That added a few weeks of extra confusion and worry!  I decided to call the Placer County STR number they have on the notice because, I personally have been in-front of my computer too much these days and it should be a simple issue to look into under regular circumstances.  So, I decided to experiment and see if the County lines were up and ready to take a basic call such as mine.  To further dismay, they were not; instead I got an earful with a message regarding all information that is additionally added because of the COVID-19. Most of which was that the County has extended the deadline and additional 2 months. That is double the time of the original update requirements postings.  This appalled me!   Next there was not a live operator, I needed to leave a message. The next day I did not hear back, so I tried the County number again.  This time, I followed one of many lengthy automated prompts, which in the end did not work the two more times I tried:  I got thru to a man who told me from a forwarded line that I had the wrong extension.  He would then try to forward me to a Johann (sp?) and as the message recorder got half way thru her voice greeting the line went cold.  So that's when I tried again, the same forwarded county man said he would now try to connect me to a Dean..., but that did not go thru either.  I gave up, drafted my email; this chasing around took all day, so decided to reread and send the next day.  Literally as I was about to push the send button a representative did call me back.  I started from the beginning:    The new STR process is demanding, expensive and time consuming; however I understand how important it is to be united and for Fire Prevention especially so in the end I understand and am grateful we will be united and up to date.  We discussed many of my basic questions about the Permit application, Fire Department scheduling, and possible issuance of a credit of any kind and extend my future expiration?! However, that was not the priority, just needed to be addressed though.   

I want to stay current and have all current information with the STR's, so I was not interested in cancelling my paperwork.   

And I also want proper communication to be able to stay informed and  address my issues (currently grievances) as in the  accompanying email,  the way the STR and COVID-19 issues are effecting and concerning me. 

My next concern was the County's duty to protect our lands and waterways and to not promote them especially in masses when we could very easily be damaging our best resource in AMERICA. He kindly asked me if I personally wanted to cancel out of renting and I too am in a conundrum.  I do know it is my choice (once the national lifts are set) to rent if I want to or not.  I also have a choice who I can rent to, my patrons are non-smokers, usually in real need of R&R and am happy to understand how the locals live;  unlike hotels, casino's, construction and other big business like that (an oxymoron for the environment and the real mountain person).  Yes, it is my strong opinion that a true mountain person does not need nor want these types of industries here.   

So, what is my experience just during and after COVID-19 with the STR I've been asked more than once by important people in my life.(?)   

THE BEST THING TO HAVE HAPPEN FROM COVID-19 IS FINALLY PEACE AND QUIET!!!!!   

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE MOUNTAINS WHEN THEY ARE MELLOW!!!!   Mountains are meant to be Mellow!

I could finally hear the geese honking again,from a distance then flew all the way over head; that sound and relation to distance was awesome. .  I actually head the owl who one night.  I thought to myself, who their life survival skills are off of their calls.  I wonder how much they struggle, when human society is buzzing at it's max?  (I also think we could appease to (most) tourism by keeping a population status quo here).

Example: Personally I'd pay a higher dollar amount to be away from bustle.  I know the man who made Fortune Magazine cover personally and he would too.  So maybe we need to filter/pick our clientele?!  Or possibly people need to get a tourist permit  like we do when we want to white water raft Rivers.  Maybe a complimentary but mandatory basic health screening

I do propose we have a Noise Ban in the Basin.

-No Loud and/or high pitch Man Made Noise -

especially vehicles &/or vessels. {If you have ever suffered from migraines (onset by noise) you'd understand.  If you have not- feel lucky}. . 

Possibly a check like we have a smog check.  

 

That is what the mountains are for!!!!  Not what has happened here the last 15 years!  It has been amazing in the early part of the stay home order, was remarkably what Tahoe was like when it was busy about 20 years ago.  

Not just Tahoe and the surrounding areas but much of our world is just a mess!  Tahoe was an absolute nightmare in the last decade or more!   It seemed to be fueled by greed, with no care for environmental impact, just the "use of the territory".  This place was packed to the gills and was so loud!  Awful, thumps of cars stereos, heavy trucks, boats, airplanes, so many gangbusters and with all of that comes more criminals.   

 

The peace and quiet has already proven to be short lived.  In the last week there has been an increase in traffic noise again where I live.  It has gotten steady again during the AM and late afternoon hours and some vehicles are downright rude (noise (engine sounds, muffler, stereos) & odors can be smelled for more than 60 ft away (diesel exhaust, brakes, cigarettes).   

Almost every morning again now, I am interrupted by some man made vehicles:  regular  & heavy size to trucks, a high pitch mosquito sounding motorcycle zoomed by one peaceful morning (woke me up) (how rude)! 

Other locals and business owners also in common understanding that we do not care for the heavy street noise from motorcycles as I just recently discusses with Farmers Insurance Broker, Dan Carpenter.  It disrupts everything around as far as noise is concerned and it it completely unnecessary in the Basin.  Street Vibrations is simply obnoxious!  My 90 year old Grandma quit visiting me because of the street bike noise in the summer, was just too much for her (& hearing aids).  So I am very sensitive to the stress that noise causes and has immensely increased over the years too - opposite of why want to I reside here.  

I can hear sounds from the end of Park and HWY 28 too and seems as if the traffic is becoming steady (again (I know the hours - just do not want to write it- so more will travel). More were here this past  last  few weekends than Martin Luther Holiday in the winter. 

Hygienically speaking too the motorcycle and construction world generally looks like this and I am not very excited about that either. 

As also noted by my profession - clinical skincare, ie personal hygiene & spa concepts (quiet & care) - (not loud/destructive  & a culture for germs)

Primarily because of this I believe that  the Counties have their priorities backwards as to who is a priority field to go back to work during pandemic times.  

A big relief is the STR's who are not on the up & up. My immediate experience with this is: that things have been a bit off for years with a problem rental house 205 Park Lane, Kings Beach CA 96143. Please see my detailed 3 page report to the Placer County official at email  nc_igowin@placer.ca.gov on 12/28/19, who also forwarded to her supervisor,  (thank you for all of your help regarding that matter).   

 

From: J Swedelius <rentalstay@outlook.com

Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2019 8:43 PM 
To: Irma Gowin <NC_IGowin@placer.ca.gov
Subject: Complaint re: 205 Park Lane Kings Beach CA - (1 of 3) 

 

From: Irma Gowin <NC_IGowin@placer.ca.gov
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2019 5:42 PM 
To: rentalstay@outlook.com <rentalstay@outlook.com
Subject: FW: Complaint re: 205 Park Lane Kings Beach CA - (1 of 3) 

  

Hello Jessica, 

  

Thank you, I received all three of your e-mails.  The information you provided will help determine potential violation/s of short-term rental activity followed by a warning notice as an initial start of the due process.  As mentioned, I will first be reviewing the information with the Code Compliance Supervisor. 

  

Best regards and thank you again, 

  

  

Irma Gowin, CCEO 

Contract Code Compliance Officer, CSG Consultants 

------------------------------------------------------------------------    

Placer County, Community Development Resource Agency 

Short-Term Rental Code Compliance 

  

Thank you for your efforts regarding investigating 205 Park Lane, earlier this year   

The one good thing that may stick is  after the new code updates and letter to the owner of the property days prior to the COVID-19 I heard a rumor they were not going to rent (illegally)  anymore (we'll see).   I say that because still to the date of this writing and a national shelter in place these renters at this house are pushing all limits: many visitors, out a lot, cars in/out, loud music partying, little dogs barking at every visitor and UPS near daily, ie., not taking things seriously. 

 
 

We all know the reality of the virus here is very real.  

 

 

But to bring it to home., ie North Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach, CA.   The rental neighbors (205 Park Lane & 224 Park Lane) on both ends of me had the flu in February.  

One pulled thru (224 Park Lane - STR in summer and ski lease to avoid lack of parking contentions - STR complaint still TBD  - owner announced possible sale), the current tenant told me during his sickness, it was the worst he's been thru.  

However, the (205 Park Lane - long term rental aka problem house. and topic of a three page complaint in months prior) has had a renter/tenant/person (ie., IHS high school mate class of '92, Frank Encinas) die there (at the house) end of February 2020.!   

He passed away right here at 205 Park Lane, Kings Beach of the flu in February (I went to his celebration of life Feb 28) (it was before big media frenzy). Local kids wondered if it was an over dose because that house is a notorious drug (cocaine) house (current occupant may possibly be related to the owner) nonetheless, the current tenants admitted they were getting ready for a CBC show in the house when this occurred. Interestingly, they talked about him at the celebration of life party saying the deceased wrote on his facebook page,  that he had a bad flu.    

Well, many of us wondered flu or not?  This is very scary for all the reasons!!! 

The curiosity of the time was, why did they not call 911?  Instead the host called another junkie to come over, loaded him in the car and drove him to the Truckee hospital.  The host claimed she did not know if he had insurance so the ambulance may be too expensive.  We all seriously questioned the motive and the time of death.  Was it at the house or in the car?  Why not an ambulance regardless of $, ie., what may she be trying to hide from authorities in the house? Nonetheless it is over and it was before the CDC info on what is happening and what to do.  They would be past their contagious stage as the 14 day quarantine has gone by but they are constantly intermixing in and out of our community (ie., Bay Area cars there all the time - regardless of STR or not).  There is an expression, in times of need; the clean get cleaner and the dirty get dirtier.   

Mainly though this house also represents many of the same age framed Tahoe party people mentalities re; does not follow rules and does not care about anything except parties.  An example:  they had hordes of cars there for two weeks right after the celebration. Weirdest part is my two neighbors who had the flu have never met but look alike; one made it and one did not and I am constantly reminded of it, when the new (loud) guy shows up.  Eerie!     

I got a later start to writing this letter to the County than I wanted because of a few other things like: 

It just takes one bad seed though:

More  dismay, -More revolving door issues:  the problem house 205 Park Lane, Kings Beach CA 96143, had a loud outside birthday party April 1, 2020. I have grown very distraught over this house, the noise and the constant dog barking at every person who comes & goes, excessive vehicles, also parking on weeded shoulders of the road, just under a county no parking sign even (just so simple it is backwards for them. They do not look at the sign nor to what is on the correct facing side for the direction of a regular car, nor does the county enforce something as real as that, that I have witnessed anyway.  Often the hot tail pipes on those cars just in from highway driving park over the dry weeds - after I have been inundated on fire prevention.  There has been a warning notice on a vehicle but in my opinion the hostess does not flinch, ie., it's not her car and she knows it was temporary, party is over for this weekend    The little  dog obnoxious  little loud dogs, had appeared to be, being minded  for a short time until  on April 16th, her tenants cars were gone, but she had a fresh new visitor, in a jeep and that dog's ear piercing bark was battling for attention over their conversation and loud music coming from inside the house from the open patio door.  To the date of this writing 205 Park Lane exceeds the space in their trash bear box it overflows to the outside and days prior to pick up, even tho they have had a young bear die outside their house (hit on hwy after investigating their trash) been told by authorities not too (as seen in court documents dating back to 2014).  In my opinion if they did not have so many guests all the time, they may not have so much trash that they can not manage properly.  (see  also pictures above and Flu & Revolving Door in Nshore).  

The next issue with their trash outside is, 205 Park Lane sits on the One way In- One way Out of our otherwise clean and happy residential street.  So everyone ,including STR business patrons unfortunately see this problem house's garbage spill over!  That is upsetting to m, since I for one maintain my surroundings and this house is directly in my patrons view.  

My other neighbors, who are "staying home" and have started asking about that house too.  

Our neighborhood garbage pick up is Wednesdays, but as mentioned above 205 Park Lane has a problem with their trash being put out on days that are not trash days.  As I was now working at my outside desk (as mentioned below regarding the fire).  

A mid sized Bear cruised thru my yard (two weeks after the fire mentioned below) and appeared to be heading toward the trash of 205 Park Lane (as there were blue bags outside the bear box for at least 24 hrs prior to pick up.  I was able to avoid it & see to it that it was detoured from traveling that direction (as we made noise in the direction we did not want it to go.  Basically this house is a problem; I feel like it needs a babysitter for the tenants in it and it is exhausting to have people like that live here. 

2014
2020

Medium sized Bear - came down from the forest -5/5/20

cruised around for a moment 

&

headed toward 205 Park Lane's Trash Outside 

205 Park Lane - 5/5/20

May 2020 - more Trash Out Days Early

&

More Unknown Cars

Trash out 24hrs early - 5 19 2020

Evening of May 20th 2020 

I witnessed the medium sized bear (same bear as pictured above) walk around our cabins (again)   In minutes following I saw the problem neighbor & her friend return from a walk around the block; I also at that moment heard her scream and the dogs began barking uncontrollably.   I assumed it was the bear I had just witnessed minutes prior.  I also assumed it was going for something that smelled enticing to it, like their trash (as mentioned above) or dog food as they have more than one dog and have their doors & windows open on nice enough days.  

To my dismay, in talking to a neighbor homeowner, they informed me that 205 Park Lane keeps a freezer of food on the deck.  I also believe that is what I saw on their deck.  Either way I could not believe the sheer stupidity.  

I also talked with another immediate  neighbor (as we do) and they informed me that 205 Lessee had also filmed it and posted it on Facebook.  I am shocked at that too, she thinks that her encounter was cool?  (It was lured by human food - she lives on the corner of the hwy----???!)