Saturday, October 20 , 2018, 10:39 am | Fair 78º

 
 
 
 

Controversial Vacation Rental Project Faces Santa Barbara City Council Appeal

Opponents say project at Anacapa and Gutierrez streets will further stress the neighborhood, which already has a shortage of parking

House in Santa Barbara Click to view larger
An appeal to the City Council has been filed regarding a plan to convert this home at Anacapa and Gutierrez streets in Santa Barbara to a short-term vacation rental. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

A three-bedroom home in Santa Barbara that sleeps up to 11 people is set to become a short-term vacation rental — with only two off-street parking spaces.

The Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review approved the vacation rental conversion for the site on the corner of Anacapa and Gutierrez streets. The ABR said the project only needs two off-street parking places because the home is in the “zone of benefit,” near city parking lots.

The ABR approved the project 5-1 at its April 9 meeting. Community activist Anna Marie Gott plans to appeal the project to the Santa Barbara City Council.

“We want residential units downtown,” Gott said. “We want people to live closer to where they work This is the perfect opportunity.for this particular project but yet (they) want to turn this into a short-term vacation rental, which sleeps 11 people.”

Gott crowdsourced the $505 fee from nearby residents and others to file the appeal.

A consistent voice against the conversion of residential units into short-term vacation rentals, Gott said the home at 402 Anacapa St. could be the site of an Average Unit-Sized Density Incentive Program project or an Accessory Dwelling Unit, instead of “three short-term vacation rentals.”

She said a vacation rental will further stress the neighborhood, which already has a shortage of parking. People aren’t going to park in nearby city lots because it would cost $24 to $26 to park the vehicle overnight.

"We are losing this house if it is turned into a short-term vacation rental," Gott said.

Short-term vacation rentals have been at the center of a firestorm of controversy in recent years. The city banned the them in residential areas, but they are still allowed in zones where hotels are permitted.

With Santa Barbara facing an affordable housing shortage, many activists are pushing back on vacation rental conversions because they are taking away from the city's housing stock. 

In addition, vacation rentals typically house large groups, who often drive or rent cars that they park on the streets, in residential and commercial zones. 

The existing development on the site consists of a two-story, 1,508 square foot, two-bedroom single residential unit with two uncovered parking spaces.

Members of the ABR said the site was ideal for a short-term vacation rental.

“I have driven by this place many times,” said ABR member Howard Wittausch. “It is a charming house in the middle of an area that is in change. It is a little place of refuge actually. So i think this is an appropriate use for the neighborhood.”

ABR member Kevin Moore agreed.

“It is an urban location, and parking is difficult no matter what the project is,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >