A Paso Robles City Council member's indirect conflict of interest put the brakes on passing a short-term rental ordinance.
At the Feb. 19 City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Martin said the council should halt approval of the ordinance because the community had voiced concerns about fairness and expressed confusion with the policy.
- Photo Courtesy Of The City Of Paso Robles
- ANOTHER GO Because of a council member's conflict of interest, Paso Robles repealed its short-term rental urgency ordinance and will start over with the policy.
"It doesn't mean that just because we've been waiting for three years to do something, we should do something that is ill-advised," Martin said. "I think there are too many wrinkles in this shirt tonight to iron out."
The council unanimously voted to repeal the city's recent short-term rental urgency ordinance that it previously adopted on Feb. 5, because Councilmember John Hamon has an indirect conflict of interest due to a short-term rental property his family owns in the city.
City Attorney Iris Yang said that she had informed Hamon prior to the Feb. 5 vote that he didn't have a conflict of interest because he isn't the direct owner of the house at 821 16th St. in Paso Robles. After the vote, Yang said, she and Hamon became aware that because he's a trustee of the property, it could be considered an interest in the property.
At the Feb. 19 meeting, the council voted to push the ordinance back to the city's short-term rental task force.
During public comment, resident George Avendia said that figuring out a fair policy for short-term rentals is not a new issue, and it's not something everyone will agree with.
"You can be on one side of the fence wishing you had permanent neighbors, and you can be on the other side of the fence saying you want to exercise your property rights," Avendia said. "But there has to be some happy medium in the middle where people can still have a business and people can still have neighbors, because right now that's not happening."
The next task force meeting is slated for Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. in the City Council chambers. Δ