Most of us chose to live in residential neighborhoods occupied by people who also take pride in their homes and the neighborhood.
What we don’t want is for that home next door to suddenly turn into a weekend party house with all the noise, hoopla, foul language and trash that often comes with it. This seems to happen when the owner lives elsewhere, and purchased the house for use only as a short-term rental. Maybe it is listed on AirBnB, VRBO or one of the other temporary home rental websites. At least 20 are in Brea.
In July, several residents came to the Brea Planning Commission meeting to relate their experiences of living near a home now used strictly for short-term rentals. On the agenda that night was a proposed ordinance amendment to prohibit short-term, less than 30-day rentals in all residential zones. Since it was a land-use issue, it was the commission’s agenda.
One homeowner stated that he and his family lived next door to a short-term rental whose owner lives outside the USA. He said they’ve had people ring his doorbell at 11:30 p.m. because they’ve gotten the address wrong and think it is the house they rented.
Ann Ford said she lives across the street from an AirBnB that has housed up to 24 people at one time. “There are a lot of parties, trash and noise,” she said.
Jerry Hunter told of an AirBnB near him that for the past six months has been rented for parties, including wedding parties, and the owners do not live there.
They all complained of too many people staying in these houses, noise, cars taking all the street parking, numerous calls to the police, and the trash that remains after the partygoers leave, that the neighbors pick up.
But not all STR occupants are party animals. Many people regularly stay in AirBnBs for business or travel and are good neighbors. “We are always given a list of rules, including number of guests allowed,” said frequent AirBnB user Patti Wunderlich.
Lumped into the amendment, however, are all owner-occupied residences, including folks who home-share that have granny flats or a room in their home that they rent for less than 30 days. Many people home-share to supplement their income and do so without any trouble or neighbor complaints. David Crabtree, Brea’s community development director, said the city has received no complaints about these properties. So why lump them with bad players?
According to the staff report, they’ve found “significant issues” when trying to regulate between on-site and absentee owners. Really? If the owners live on the property, it should be easy to reach them. If they live elsewhere, try property tax records or Google.
Both the Planning Commission and City Council passed the ordinance amendment unanimously. It goes into effect within 30 days.
But the fat lady is still singing.
The commissioners and council agree that the issue should be revisited in the future. Maybe by then they will realize home-sharing less than 30 days should be separated from the short-stay rentals and enforce safety and nuisance laws.
Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Posted by https://goo.gl/TXzGV5