Santa Barbara’s vacation rental ban deemed illegal

May 5, 2021

By KAREN VELIE

With the help of the California Coastal Commission, a property owner won a victory against the City of Santa Barbara and its vacation rental ban. In his lawsuit, Theo Kracke accuses Santa Barbara of enacting a 2015 illegal ban on short-term vacation rentals.

In 2019, a superior court judge ruled that Santa Barbara must allow short-term vacation rentals in the coastal zone as it did before banning them in 2015. The city then appealed the decision to the Second Appellate District Court in Ventura.

The California Coastal Commission filed an amicus brief in support of Kracke’s case noting the ban violated the California Coastal Act, which requires the public to have access to affordable accommodations in the coastal zone.

After almost five years of litigation, on May 4, the 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed Kracke’s trial court victory and overturned Santa Barbara’s short-term vacation rental ban in the Coastal Zone.

Judges Steven Perren, Kenneth Yegan and Martin Tangeman’s ruling protects the rights of property owners to rent out residences near the coast.

“The city incorrectly contends that because STVRs are not expressly included in the LCP, they are therefore excluded, giving the city the right to regulate them without regard to the Coastal Act,” Perren wrote.

The judges also granted Kracke the ability to recover his legal costs from the city.

“We’re absolutely thrilled,” Kracke said. “The city fought us every step of the way. Now is their prime opportunity to draft fair regulation of STVRs rather than continue to waste taxpayer money and seek review by the California Supreme Court.”

Travis C. Logue and Jason W. Wansor, attorneys with Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP, represent Kracke.

“This published decision has statewide implications,” Logue said. “It’s a major victory for Californians who prefer affordable vacation accommodations along the coast. Our client deserves huge credit for waging this battle. He’s taken arrows from all sides and faced ridicule by the City Attorney’s office. Anyone who uses or operates STVRs in
Santa Barbara should thank him.”


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Everybody_Lies

Seems I remember that you folks in SB have this quaint little University, oh what’s it’s name???? Oh yes, it’s UCSB. What’s the population of UCSB currently??? Conservatively about 24k (larger than many communities surrounding Santa Barbara). If your aforementioned property “buyers” cannot make their house payments renting to well-healed tourists who mostly rent the house as a place to sleep and have breakfast, then hey let’s fill the house with 5-10 college students and see what happens to your quality of life and property values. Oh, and by the way, I just retired last year from a non-profit in San Luis Obispo which is desperately subletting properties in all neighborhoods and of all values to house the homeless. Many 2-8 per household. Face it, the baby boomers are old and starting to die. Generation X and the Millenials will NEVER know what it is like to be middle class in California and be able to buy a 3 or 4 bedroom home within 50 miles of the coast. So let’s buy a home that will pay for itself, and how shall we do it? 1.) Quiet and mostly respectful tourists? 2.) A gaggle of college students. Or 3.) A rogues’ gallery of homeless people? Who do we Gen Xer’s and Millenials want living in our retirement homes and help to pay it off? Sorry if it pisses off the old money Nimby’s, but’s it’s all we have.


Jorge Estrada

Money is bilingual, Republican or Democrat, who controls it is the only difference.


Spacetrekker

the ban violated the California Coastal Act, which requires the public to have access to affordable accommodations in the coastal zone.


I can afford to camp in the back of my pickup on the beach in Oceano.


coyote

Congratulations on the defeat of government overreach ! Too bad that the taxpayers will have to foot the bill once again


blackjack

“Affordable vacation accommodations ” in R1 zoned properties create the exact opposite when it comes to any other type of housing in the same neighborhood. Not to mention full time residents get to live next to a constant flow of visitors checking out their personal space and parking up the neighborhood. So much for city and regional planning, zoning, etc.


jdchem

Unhosted short term rentals create a bevy of problems and ultimately reduce the quality of life for the nearby residents.


kevin rise

To have the city say you cant do what you like with your own home is infringing, especially if its rational, like renting it out short term. I agree with your feelings, but they are feelings. If I had my way, all the large irrigating vineyards would be gone, as they are Literally using all the water ruining quality of life.


jdchem

I would like to start a shooting range in my house. Of course I would make sure my customers behave in a safe manner. Please do not infringe on me by expressing your emotional feelings about what I plan to do with my property.


blackjack

The “30 day rental” is the new way around any rules. Check out the actual bookings on these to see how the reservations don’t even add up. Once property value is based at $300-$800 per night, and buyers purchase properties based solely on those rates of income to make their payment “there goes the neighborhood” . Property rights are great, ( I’d love to shoot clay pigeons off my front deck at the beach if it was legal) but if a person wants to own a Motel it should be in a location with proper zoning-


Boldguy

After reading the article I’m a little confused based on the property owners quote, “The city fought us every step of the way. Now is their prime opportunity to draft fair regulation of STVRs rather than continue to waste taxpayer money and seek review by the California Supreme Court.”.

So the City can go back and draft a new ordinance and the battle starts all over again?

Or are Coastal Cities now banned from regulating short term rentals all together?

Never could understand how municipalities had any right to regulate the manner in how landlords chose to rent their property in the first place.


slo-to-load

Any response from the city of SB on why they feel it is so important to waste taxpayer money fighting this?


kayaknut

Because it is not their money. People, especially in government, love to spend other people’s money and give it to others.