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Updated: Planning commission approves new short-term rental guidelines 

The city of Paso Robles submitted the following report on the new guidelines for short term rental approved by the Paso Robles Planning Commission Tuesday:

–On May 15, 2019 the Paso Robles Planning Commission voted 4-0 to recommend a draft Short-Term Rental Ordinance to the Paso Robles City Council. Six of the commissioners had conflicts of interests which required the drawing of straws to select the four commissioners to hear the item under the rules of necessity.

The Short-Term Rental Ordinance would establish zoning regulations for non-hosted vacation homes and home shares in all residential and mixed use zones. Currently the city has issued approximately 350 business licenses for short-term rentals that will be converted into short-term rental permits if the city council adopts the ordinance.

The city council is scheduled to hear the first reading of the ordinance on the June 4, 2019 agenda, with the public hearing to take place the next day on June 5, 2019.

The key provisions of the ordinance are:
• Holders of existing business licenses must apply for a short-term rental permit
• Maximum occupancy requirements
• On-site parking requirements
• Good neighbor provisions and notifications
• 30 minute complaint Hotline process
• Separation requirements in the R-1 zone
• Maximum caps on the total number of short-term rentals in the City by zones.

If the City Council takes action on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance, the Ordinance would become effective in the middle of July 2019. The first day to submit short-term rental permit applications would be July 18, 2019.


Original story posted May 16

Planning Commissioner Sheree Davis.

–Late Wednesday night, the Paso Robles Planning Commission approved guidelines for the owners of short term vacation rentals. The commission recommended the Paso Robles City Council approve those staff guidelines.

Homeowners and those with short term rentals (STR) packed the library conference room Wednesday night. The public hearing on guidelines was delayed one day because only one of the planning commissioners did not recuse himself because of a conflict of interest. Leo Castillo was the only commissioner without a conflict. The commission was required to invoke the “Rule of Necessity” and draw straws to determine which commissioners (with a clear conflict) would still discuss and decide the guidelines for vacation rentals.

Community Development Director Warren Frace.

Owners of short term rentals talked about their investment and the rights of property owners. Residents who live and own homes in neighborhoods like Hilltop Road talked about the impact short term rentals are having on the quality of their lives.

Faye Donovan described confrontations with the occupants of short term rentals. After hearing loud profanity emanating from the short term rental’s yard next door, Donovan asked them to clean up their language. One of the visitors advised her to “Go inside and close your windows.”

Faye Donovan.

Some residents quoted the city’s municipal code as prohibiting hotels and STRs in areas zoned Residential 1 (R-1). But Community Development Director Warren Frace says that R-1 rules are defined and determined by the City Council, not by the municipal code.

Ultimately, the four commissioners voted to approve the city staff recommendations to limit occupancy to 10 occupants for houses with five bedrooms, allowing an additional four occupants during the day. They approved imposing a 200-foot separation between STRs. And they limited STRs to only one unit per lot in areas zoned R-1.

The Planning Commission recommends that the Paso Robles City Council approve the changes.

Some neighbors said the changes were improvements for neighborhoods, but still felt that short term vacation rentals adversely impact the character of Paso Robles neighborhoods. Ultimately, the issue may be decided in court.

Jessica Fullerton.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at