SLO commission rejects resident’s appeal on room rental ban

October 10, 2013

bedThe San Luis Obispo Planning Commission rejected an appeal by a homeowner Wednesday who wishes to rent a room in her house.

Over the past several months, San Luis Obispo city staff sent cease and desist letters to more than 50 homeowners who list rooms in their homes for rent on the popular website Airbnb.com. A city ordinance crafted in the 1980s bans renting for less than 30 days at a time in San Luis Obispo, and homeowners who do not comply can face fines up to $500 per violation.

In May, Mill Street resident Sky Bergman received a cease and desist letter for listing a room in her house on Airbnb.

Bergman appealed the order to Community Development Director Derrick Johnson, who denied her appeal. She then appealed to the planning commission, which rejected her appeal Wednesday.

Bergman now has 10 days to appeal to the city council. Doing so will cost her $273.

The council has already scheduled a hearing on vacation rental policy for November 12.

Numerous residents have complained about the room rental ban, and some, who rent out rooms in their houses, have organized a group called SLO Hosts to attempt to change the ordinance.

Numerous houses within the city limits remain listed on Airbnb.

 


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18 Comments

  1. hijinks says:

    “The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission rejected an appeal by a homeowner Wednesday who wishes to rent a room in her house.”

    That’s not exactly what the hearing last night was about (though that’s also the way our ill-informed so-called daily newspaper reported it).

    This person got a fine for breaking the law. There was no question she’d broken the law, but she still wanted the planning commission to rule that she hadn’t broken the law. It was a weird maneuver, designed apparently to get publicity, not to actually accomplish anything. If the law’s broken as blatantly as she broke it, no city commission can make that fact go away. Therefore, they left the fine in place.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. abigchocoholic says:

    You people are all wrong.

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, buys a $500,000-$1,000,000 house in a SLO neighborhood to have their neighbor acting as a seedy motel. Nobody!

    Get over yourselves. It’s a good regulation and a necessary one for the protection and upkeep of residential neighborhoods.

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  3. SLOthinker says:

    I think the way to go is to allow it if certain criteria are met. Like sufficient parking, business licence, etc..

    And they pay city taxes just like motels.

    (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
    • hijinks says:

      They haven’t been paying taxes. Why not? Because they’re serial law breakers.

      And they don’t have to abide by any of the safety rules that motels have to abide by, and they don’t have to provide liability insurance to pay for accidents to “guests,” and they don’t have to provide handicapped access or fire exits or fire sprinklers, or any of the other things that make staying in a motel relatively safe and staying in an airbnb relatively unsafe.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  4. Robert1 says:

    Easy law to skirt, if you charge let’s say $100 a night, divide it by 30 days which equals $3.33 a day. The “renter” prepays for 30 days prorated at $3.33 a day.
    They sign a 30 day rental agreement, stay one night and travel the rest of their 30 day stay.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • abigchocoholic says:

      They sign a 30 day rental agreement, stay one night and travel the rest of their 30 day stay.
      ——————-
      Please. Get real. You can’t skirt a law with a contract that merely says you are not doing what you are doing. That’s rookie level advice. If it were that easy, every criminal enterprise would just sign an agreement amongst themselves saying they are absolutely not entering into a criminal enterprise. A is B. Up id down. As if the law can’t overcome deals in code.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • Robert1 says:

        “”That’s rookie level advice. If it were that easy, every criminal enterprise would just sign an agreement amongst themselves saying they are absolutely not entering into a criminal enterprise.””
        That which you describe is already being done, it is called the “guberment”…

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. mkaney says:

    Recently, my former next door neighbor needed a place to stay for less than a month before she could move into her new place. I rented her a room in my house for that period of time. So apparently, I was in violation of this ordinance? ABSURD!

    (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Worse than that, you were in violation of being a Good Neighbor! You capitalist pig! Charging your fellow neighbor the use of your property! Pshah! ;-)

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
      • abigchocoholic says:

        Worse than that, you were in violation of being a Good Neighbor!
        ——————
        Good neighbor nickle and diming her neighbor and friend? Please. A good neighbor would have just let her stay because–they were a good neighbor.

        You don’t need to profit off your neighbors.

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
    • abigchocoholic says:

      I rented her a room in my house for that period of time. So apparently, I was in violation of this ordinance? ABSURD!
      ————————

      Get over yourself. You want to be a good neighbor. Let her stay at your house for free. Quit trying to nickle and dime her in her time of need.

      And if she wanted to give you a gratuity at the end no problem. Perfectly legal.

      (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
      • mkaney says:

        Um.. Excuse me? I have rent to pay as well, plus utilities and such. I charged her a small fee.

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  6. flytrap says:

    She should be allowed to open a bed and breakfast or any sort of motel-like facility in her residential neighborhood, whether it be one bedroom, 2 bedrooms or 100 bedrooms, since I want to open a shopping center in my tiny neighborhood. We should also abolish all zoning laws, too, while we are at it.

    (-9) 23 Total Votes - 7 up - 16 down
    • winedude says:

      Abolish all zoning laws? Absurd! If you want to live in a place that has no zoning laws I suggest that you move up over the grade to lovely Atascadero, aka “the mudhole”. Obvioulsy never heard of zoning there…

      (-7) 11 Total Votes - 2 up - 9 down
      • tomjones says:

        Or the sarcasm went right over your head. Flytrap’s point is exactly your point.

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      Only if I can open my home-nightclub next to you!

      *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* what? *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* it’s 2am?! *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* oh, that’s just my nightclub! *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump* *thump*

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  7. Jorge Estrada says:

    Unless the City of SLO has strict single family zoning, no students, no mixed living, no frats and off street parking is enforced, there is nothing they can snivel about. There are bigger fish to fry, like how will they meet their long term pension commitments?

    Make them a partner and it’s ok, I say no, stay out of my bedroom and go fry another fish.

    (16) 22 Total Votes - 19 up - 3 down
    • hijinks says:

      “I say no, stay out of my bedroom and go fry another fish.”

      I think you’ve hit on the perfect version of the “sharing economy.” Share your bed with a stranger. Preferably a pretty, nice-smelling one. And then charge her a hundred bucks in the morning. We need more airbnbs like that.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.