City Council Considers Vacation Rental Ordinance

Over the past few years, the City has taken various steps to address problems which have arisen from short-term vacation rentals.  Some renters are not considerate of their residential neighbors and some of the reported problems have been offensive language, loud noises, litter, parking impacts, parties and large numbers of occupants.

The City’s Ordinance Committee has discussed a proposed ordinance several times and tomorrow, February 3, the City Council will consider an ordinance that would address vacation rentals through a permitting program.  It would require property owners to apply for and obtain a regulatory permit before renting their property for less than 30 days.  A permitting program would provide the following benefits:

• An opportunity to educate owners of their obligations;

• A mechanism to notify neighbors and give them a voice prior to the use;

• A database to assure that appropriate compliance with transient occupancy tax obligations;

• Most importantly, a procedure for revocation when the use is abused.

Applicants would be required to provide: a plan for responding to complaints; proof of their Transient Occupancy Registration; a bond in the amount of $1,500 to ensure compliance; a fee to cover the cost of administering the program and proof that all properties within 200 feet have been notified of the application.

If the Council chooses to move forward with this ordinance, it may be introduced at this meeting, upon a majority vote.  The law requires adoption to occur at a subsequent meeting which would likely occur in two weeks.  The ordinance would be effective on the 31st day after adoption.

The City’s research has shown that this type of ordinance would affect as many of 100 properties in Goleta which are currently used for this purpose.