When Tom and Janine Carter bought their Grover Beach home about four years ago, they said they weren’t aware that their next-door neighbor’s home was consistently rented to short-term vacationers.
They quickly became concerned about the noise, extra cars parked on the street and what they described as a revolving door of people, many of whom like to party into the early morning hours, the couple said.
“I’m just really tired of it,” Janine Carter told the Grover Beach City Council during its Tuesday meeting.
The council will consider new rules regulating vacation rentals — defined as residences rented for 30 straight calendar days or less — in September.
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On Tuesday, council members reviewed and provided feedback to city staff on a draft ordinance, but did not vote on it.
The proposed ordinance would restrict rentals to an area west of Fourth Street, which includes about 1,000 homes. They would be barred in the rest of the city, with the possible exception of a handful of vacation rentals that have paid bed taxes to the city recently.
The Carters were two of several people who had brought their concerns about vacation rentals to the council a few years ago.
Some local residents told the city they believed several homes were being used as rentals in their neighborhoods, and they claimed that tenants were causing noise, garbage and traffic problems.
Having rules in place would allow the city to regulate them, levy warnings and fines on violators, and bring in a little extra income.
Vacation rental owners would be required to pay the city a transient occupancy tax of 10 percent of the rent they charge. The so-called bed tax is also reported by hotels and other lodging facilities and makes up a small portion of the city’s revenue.
The city has received the bed tax from several property owners since 2005. Grover Beach Community Development Director Bruce Buckingham recommended that only seven rentals that have paid the tax since July 1, 2010, should be allowed to continue after the new ordinance is in place.
Of those seven properties, three are outside the proposed vacation rental area, but their exact locations were not disclosed.
Buckingham said the three homes do not include the property on Newport Avenue next to the Carters’ house, nor do they include another home on North 14th Street that neighbors have complained about.
As proposed, owners of homes west of Fourth Street who want to rent their home for short-term stays must apply for a vacation rental permit.
Those violating the ordinance would receive first a written warning, then a $250 fine, and then a public hearing before the Planning Commission to consider revocation of the permit.