Proposal targets unruly renters

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is expected Nov. 15 to hear proposed regulations of short-term or vacation rentals of private homes in certain neighborhoods.

The County Planning Commission approved recommending the revised vacation rental ordinance on a 4-0 vote at its Sept. 22 meeting.

Staff and the commission, in consultation with area advisory councils, have been working on the revisions since supervisors asked them to in March, spurred largely by complaints from some year-round residents about visitors who come for a brief stay and behave badly.

“These changes will substantially correct some of the frustrations experienced by regular residents resulting from noise and other problems created by nearby vacation rentals in the past,” said Commissioner Ken Topping of Cambria, “while at the same time protecting tourism in a manner consistent with the character of Cambria.”

Existing regulations apply to Cambria, where there are about 340 vacation rentals, and Cayucos, with about 245. The changes would expand the regulations to Los Osos, with 18 vacation rentals, and Avila Beach, with 32, according to the county.

Oceano, with an estimated 48 rentals, opted out of inclusion. Short-term rentals there will continue to need a minor-use permit from the county.

Modifications to the rules include changes in the mandated distance between rentals, restricting rentals to four per month, adopting rules similar to those used by the city of San Luis Obispo for prohibiting “unreasonable” noise, mandating use of a tax certificate number in advertising and having a contact person available around the clock to handle complaints.