After nearly two years of community discussion, Paso Robles is poised to pass a vacation rental ordinance to regulate the proliferation of short-term, Airbnb-style rentals in the city.
- Photo Courtesy Of The City Of Paso Robles
- REELING IN RENTALS Community members packed Paso Robles City Hall for a workshop in 2015 discussing new regulations for the vacation rental industry. The city is poised to finally adopt an ordinance in the coming weeks.
The ordinance, which will go before the city Planning Commission on Oct. 10, would require vacation rental operators to go through a process of obtaining a rental permit, paying Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT), and abiding by a series of rules designed to preserve neighborhoods.
As they're written, the rules don't propose to cap the number of available operating permits or set the locations where rentals are allowed, but it does mention that the Planning Commission and City Council should "thoroughly examine those issues."
In recent years, Paso's allure as a tourist destination combined with the ease of running vacation rentals through websites like Airbnb has created a robust industry. In 2016, licensed vacation rentals generated nearly $250,000 in TOT—but an estimated 100 more weren't licensed.
"The City Council finds that unregulated 'home-sharing' and use of existing housing as short-term rentals can escalate the demand for city services and create adverse impacts in residential zones," the ordinance reads.
In applying for a rental permit, an owner must pay a fee (yet to be determined) and submit detailed information about the rental home, including the floor plan, site plan, and evidence that the bedrooms comply with building codes. Rental permits would last three years, but could be renewed.
An operator must ensure that renters sign and are abiding by the "Good Neighbor Brochure"—which hasn't been made public yet—that will outline occupancy and parking limits, as well as rules around noise and "disorderly conduct."
The city also plans to establish a complaint "hotline" for neighbors to call when concerns about rentals arise. The hotline would forward the call to the owner of the rental or the police department if necessary. The owner must answer a complaint call within 30 minutes.