Council votes to allow existing STRs in residential zoning to stay
–At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Paso Robles City Council altered their direction on Short Term Vacation Rentals (STRs). Instead of approving at second reading an ordinance to phase out Short Term Rentals in R-1 Residential Zoning, they unanimously approved a plan to allow more than two hundred Short Term Vacation Rentals to remain in R-1 zoning. The vote was 3-0. Councilmen Steve Gregory and John Hamon recused themselves because of conflicts of interest.
The new proposal is very close to Option B, which was presented by city staff in the council meeting two weeks ago.
It increases fines for nuisance violations at STRs: $500 for a first offense; $1,000 for a second offense; and $2,000 for a third offense. The STR’s permit would be rescinded after a third complaint.
But it would allow 210 of them to continue to operate. Neighbors living next to STRs say their complaints are generally ignored by rental agencies and the police. The ordinance will “grandfather” all existing STR’s in R-1 zoning. There are currently 210 Short Term Rentals in R-1. The proposed ordinance would expire in three years.
In California, 28 similar towns have banned Short Term Vacation Rentals in residential zones. These towns include San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Temecula, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Calistoga, Carmel, South Lake Tahoe and twenty other cities.
About sixty people attended Tuesday night’s city council meeting. For over an hour residents spoke for and against STR’s. Many neighbors described parties at short term rentals in neighborhoods that were previously quiet and family oriented. Most residents waited until the council finally rendered a decision around 11:20 p.m. The new ordinance will come back before the same limited, 3-person council in two weeks for a second reading. If it’s approved, it will become effective July 16.