In November 2009, a group of Grover Beach residents told the City Council about some homes they thought were being used as vacation rentals in their neighborhoods, which they said were causing noise and traffic problems.
Now, after direction from the council, the city’s planning commissioners will consider rules to regulate vacation rentals.
“(People) just come here for a weekend and have a party and tear the place up and leave,” Councilman Bill Nicolls said. “That’s the sort of thing we want to eliminate.”
While Nicolls acknowledged this doesn’t appear to be widespread, he said having rules in place would give the city authority to regulate the rentals.
The Planning Commission on Tuesday will consider an ordinance that would allow vacation rentals — defined as residences rented for 30 days or less — in all of the city’s residential areas.
If subsequently approved by the council, those renting out their homes would be required to apply for a vacation rental permit and could be subject to fines of up to $500 for multiple violations.
However, commissioners have several other alternatives.
They could forbid vacation rentals in certain areas zoned residential, such as areas with single-family homes, or try to ban them entirely.
In January, the council received a petition said to have about 200 signatures from people requesting that rentals be regulated and banned from residential areas.
Only 14 vacation rentals pay the city bed tax of 10 percent of the rent they charge. The transient occupancy tax, which is also reported by hotels and other lodging facilities, makes up a small portion of the city’s revenue.
In the 2007-08 fiscal year, the tax brought in $232,893; the following year, that dropped to $230,768. This year’s budget estimates an even bigger drop to $225,000.
City Manager Bob Perrault said that while extra revenue would be nice, the main point of the ordinance is to regulate the rentals so they can co-exist in the community.
San Luis Obispo County and communities including Morro Bay have vacation rental regulations.
Pismo Beach has approved an ordinance restricting the rentals to any residential areas except downtown but is waiting on certification from the California Coastal Commission.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.