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California Judge Blocks South Lake Tahoe Rental Home Rules

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — A California judge on Monday temporarily blocked the enforcement of new restrictions on short-term vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe, after property owners filed a lawsuit saying the rules were unconstitutional and ill-timed at the height of the holiday season.

The Sacramento Bee reported that El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Smith issued a temporary restraining order that prevents enforcement of the voter-approved measure for 30 days.

The measure puts restrictions on the number of people who can stay in rental homes.

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It limits the number of occupants per bedroom to two, with a maximum of 12 people total. Violations can carry up to a $1,000 fine.

The ballot measure, which took effect last week, also permanently bans most short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods outside downtown South Lake Tahoe beginning in three years.

It comes in response to growing concerns about parking congestion and noise at rental homes on the alpine lake, a popular ski destination on the California-Nevada line.

Last week, the South Lake Tahoe Property Owners Group filed a lawsuit seeking an emergency injunction to block implementation of the measure. The group said it infringes on the constitutional rights of property owners and would wreak havoc with out-of-town families who plan to spend the holidays at the mountain resort.

Voters narrowly approved the measure in November.