Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to look at 45-working day ban on new trip rentals while weighing more laws

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a 45-day ban on new family vacation rentals as it weighs more rules and restrictions on short-expression rentals in unincorporated components of the county.

Officials say the short term moratorium on issuing permits is needed to respond to a latest surge of purposes forward of the prospective regulations, which the board is established to vote on in August.

The proposed rules involve making a system to license vacation rental qualities and imposing restrictions on the variety of brief-expression rentals permitted in particular neighborhoods, as effectively as prohibiting new rentals in many others.

County scheduling employees said the licensing program would aid deal with neighbors’ worries about parking, sounds and public protection by creating it much easier to implement vacation rental restrictions. The county would also launch a 24/7 hotline to respond to problems.

The rental caps would restrict brief-phrase rentals to 5% of one-relatives houses in some communities the place there are considerations about shielding offered housing stock and preserving “neighborhood character.”

Supervisor Lynda Hopkins stated she anxieties that without having a moratorium, a deluge of residence homeowners could post applications to get ahead of prospective caps on vacation rentals.

Previously, county officials reported they’ve received 50 holiday vacation rental allow programs due to the fact announcing a March 17 public hearing on the proposed changes. The county ordinarily gets all around 10 apps a thirty day period.

“It feels like there’s chum in the water ideal now with the feeding frenzy,” claimed Hopkins, who signifies west county and the lessen Russian River, a well known location for second residences, but exactly where numerous residents have concerns about family vacation rentals.

Marin County supervisors are established to consider a identical momentary ban this month on family vacation rentals in West Marin, a tourist hub in which inexpensive workforce housing is in quick supply. A pandemic-period actual estate rush has exacerbated the region’s housing disaster.

Claire Fetrow, a Forestville resident of 20 a long time, said 4 of the eight residences up coming to hers are now utilised as getaway rentals. That usually means loud late-night time parties, vibrant lights shining into her house and rows of automobiles using up parking on her sleepy community road.

“A human being residing in a home that they imagined was their forever home and their piece of paradise now is getting taken away by these lodge-like entities displaying up on their doorstep,” Fetrow reported.

Fetrow acknowledges that getaway houses have lengthy been a staple of the decreased Russian River area. But she said the arrival of small-phrase rental listing web pages this kind of as Airbnb and VRBO have led to far more getaway properties and a consistent stream of renters, making her neighborhood experience more and more more like a resort than a neighborhood.

“There has to be a difference produced that these are not the getaway rentals of the earlier,” she said.

Some family vacation rental operators, meanwhile, argue added restrictions could hurt the community tourism marketplace, as very well as home entrepreneurs who may perhaps count on rentals as a critical source of revenue.

Frederik Norgaard, who owns two rental homes in Monte Rio, instructed The Press Democrat in March that additional county regulation would undermine a thriving portion of the county’s tourism economic climate. He’s anxious the getaway rental opponents will abuse any method for filing complaints.

“You’re providing this lethal weapon to people today who can complain, who didn’t like getaway rentals in the first position,” he explained.

In reaction to neighbors’ considerations, the Board of Supervisors last July directed preparing staff members to update the county’s existing getaway rental ordinance and reach out to inhabitants for recommendations. Last week, the Sonoma County Preparing Commission accredited the proposed modifications, clearing the way for the policies to appear ahead of the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 2.

County team are nevertheless doing the job to identify which neighborhoods could see a 5% cap as portion of the up to date ordinance, however officials said that could include parts of the reduce Russian River location and Sonoma Valley. Originally, workers had advised a 10% cap. If holiday vacation rentals in 1 of all those communities previously exceed 5%, no new permits would be issued there.

These types of limitations would not implement to places together the coast, where any limitations on the variety of family vacation rentals would probable will need to be accepted by the California Coastal Commission. The coastline would also be exempt from the proposed non permanent ban.

Under the county’s recent getaway rental regulation handed in 2016, new brief-term rentals go on to be prohibited in certain unincorporated areas, which include communities in the Sonoma Valley, exterior Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. Inside town limitations, Sonoma, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa have enacted prohibitions for some neighborhoods.

If authorized by the board, the current ordinance could broaden the long lasting prohibition on new rentals to some particular neighborhoods zoned as a “low density residential district,” officials stated. That features locations in Guerneville, El Verano in Sonoma Valley and the Mark West Springs area north of Santa Rosa.

The moves stick to an unexpected emergency ordinance accepted by supervisors in summertime 2020 that place a short term cap on vacation rentals in the unincorporated county. Later on that yr, the cap was scaled back again to apply only to a community in the Sonoma Valley and part of the reduce Russian River. It’s set to expire Aug. 6.

The new 45-day moratorium the Board is established to contemplate on Tuesday would also be an unexpected emergency ordinance, requiring a 4/5 vote to go. If permitted, it would go into result straight away and expire in late June, officers claimed, in advance of the Aug. 2 vote on the new restrictions.

Bradley Dunn, policy manager with Permit Sonoma, the county scheduling agency, claimed component of the reason for the updated policies — notably prohibiting new rentals in more neighborhoods — is to make certain properties are not “turned into getaway rentals in the regions of the county that have cost-effective housing readily available.”

A modern financial analyze commissioned by the county discovered an raise in shorter-time period rentals had “little to no connection” with area solitary-family dwelling price ranges. Having said that, the research, authored by Sonoma Point out College economist Robert Eyler, mentioned modern investigation reveals getaway rentals can place pressure on prolonged-expression residence rental selling prices.

According to the review, there ended up an believed 2,459 nearby shorter-term rentals in 2021, building up 2% of the around 138,945 single-family members homes in the county. About 1,485 rentals were being in unincorporated areas, where the new procedures would get impact.

You can achieve Team Writer Ethan Varian at[email protected] or 707-521-5412. On Twitter @ethanvarian.