Monday, May 21 , 2018, 3:48 pm | Mostly Cloudy 68º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Advice

Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Favors Banning Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Neighborhoods

Commissioners might consider exception for agricultural zones but want short-term rentals away from residential zones in unincorporated county areas

All residential zones should be free of short-term vacation rentals, according to the majority of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission, which this week decided against making an exception for unincorporated county areas historically housing this type of rentals.

Commissioners met for a second time Wednesday to discuss prohibiting the growing practice of renting a room or home for fewer than 30 consecutive days in the county from the Santa Maria Valley down to Carpinteria.

The commission voted 3-2 to have staff prepare a draft ordinance banning such rentals and home stays in residential zones, with commissioners Daniel Blough and Larry Ferini opposed.

A home stay is a unit rented with the property owner present throughout the stay.

Ferini was absent last time commissioners took up the issue. Back then, Commissioner Michael Cooney suggested allowing the rental practice in Miramar Beach near Montecito or Padaro Lane in Carpinteria.

The majority of commissioners brushed that idea aside this week, but a unanimous vote did come down to further study how other areas deal with short-term rentals in agricultural zones — such as those in Santa Ynez Valley with multiple acres between a rental unit and a road or neighbor.

Jessica Metzger, an associate county planner, said that information would be ready for a subsequent meeting Feb. 24.

“Once they make a decision on that information, we’ll come back to them again with actual ordinances,” she said.

Recommendations from the County Planning Commission and the Montecito Planning Commission — also in favor of banning short-term rentals in residential zones — will go before the County Board of Supervisors sometime this spring for a final decision.

Supervisors directed county planners earlier this year to host public workshops, gathering input so officials could create a zoning ordinance on the subject.

To date, the term “short-term vacation rental” doesn’t exist in county books.

The county has been requiring rentals to register and pay transient occupancy taxes regardless, collecting nearly $1.4 million in such levies in the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to County Treasurer-Tax Collector records.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >