December 10, 2023

Happy Travel & Tour

Specialists Travel & Tours

Seeking the sweet spot on vacation rentals

Seeking the sweet spot on vacation rentals

Following a dozen a long time, Sonoma County supervisors are nevertheless performing out the guidelines for getaway rentals.

Do not judge them way too harshly. It isn’t uncomplicated discovering a sweet location on this contentious challenge. For some folks, holiday vacation rentals are a welcome supply of profits or a pleasant way to examine new areas. For some others, they are a nuisance, in particular if guests monopolize parking or host noisy parties into the wee several hours.

There is a whole lot to like in the most recent proposal, which is on the board’s Tuesday agenda.

Tips from the Planning Fee would tighten the policies for parking, noise and trash, have to have once-a-year licensing, cap the quantity of guests, restrict the number of family vacation rentals in some closely impacted regions and ban them fully in reduced-density neighborhoods. The proposed procedures cover unincorporated areas, other than the coastal zone, which is regulated individually.

The procedures would use to houses rented for up to 30 days by person owners, administration businesses and on line platforms these as Airbnb and VRBO.

Not all people is likely to be pleased about ratcheting up the limitations on vacation rentals. But here’s a twist you might not have anticipated: Between the critics are some longtime Sonoma County house administrators who say the proposed procedures don’t go significantly plenty of.

The house administrators help the framework but say the rules need to apply retroactively, and violators need to be topic to stiff fines. Underneath the county proposal, present rentals would be exempt from some of the new expectations, probably which include a restrict on additional daytime attendees, until finally they are offered.

Liza Graves, a area assets manager who is president of the Sonoma County Hospitality Association, mentioned the county needs applications to crack down on current troubles that alienate neighbors and taint the reputation of all holiday rentals.

“Trimming the tree cover is not getting at the root of the trouble,” Graves told the editorial board.

To counter any reservations about implementing new procedures to existing rentals, the home professionals cite a Sonoma County ordinance governing business kennels that retroactively imposed an once-a-year licensing requirement and licensed county officers to impose situations to secure community well being, safety and welfare.

“Requiring existing and new getaway rentals to satisfy the exact same new specifications promotes simplicity of enforcement, a consistent regulatory approach and gets rid of general public confusion about what conventional historically problematic vacation rentals have to meet,” a attorney for the rental supervisors wrote in a letter to the supervisors.

They also urged the supervisors to amend the county code to permit steeper fines for repeat violations now allowed by state law.

We are not legal professionals, but that can make sense to us. The supervisors shouldn’t exempt 1,000 or extra current getaway rental operators if, in truth, they have the authority to need all people to observe the similar regulations. And a adhere — steep fines or even license revocation — would encourage compliance.

Tourism pumps about $2 billion a 12 months into Sonoma County’s economic system, supporting thousands of careers and corporations. Holiday rentals have been a well-known lodging option right here for many years — lengthy right before world wide web platforms like VRBO arrived together. Like hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns, they crank out transient occupancy tax bucks that assist shell out for area companies. But neighborhood authorities have to assure that getaway rentals are excellent neighbors.

The supervisors meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the county administration making in Santa Rosa and on the internet at

You can send letters to the editor to [email protected].