Costa Mesa continues to ban short-term rentals; City Council vowed to re-enact regulations

2021-11-29 04:14:11 By : Mr. Amber Gao

Nonprofit Newsroom in Orange County

The debate on short-term leases is still the focus of the entire Orange County community. After a series of complaints from residents, Costa Mesa took a tough stance on leases. 

Costa Mesa City Council members voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to pass an emergency decree prohibiting short-term rentals in the city, with the exception of family sharing-continuing the city’s suspension of rents, while council members explore how to supervise them.

The regulation defines house sharing as the owner renting out part of the property or grandmother's house to short-term tenants, and the owner actually lives or lives on the property.

At a meeting on Tuesday, City Councillor Andrea Marr stated that since the first ban came into effect about a year ago, many landlords stated that they are still operating rented houses in their properties and have established rules to To curb interference such as gatherings.

"Actually, I was very surprised by how many Airbnbs operate in this way, so we removed them from the suspension period and said,'OK, that case seems to be okay,' but we still feel that we need to press the pause What is happening now," she said.

In recent years, during the pandemic, short-term rental issues have been on the agenda of city councils across Orange County. 

Some residents say that rent reduces their quality of life in the community, while others say it is a good way for homeowners to increase their income.

Huntington Beach also briefly discussed their short-term lease regulations this week, and approved a timetable by which lease operators must register in the city. 

According to the newly adopted rules, operators must register in the city before March 31, 2022. If they have not registered before the end of the year, they will be delisted from platforms such as AirBNB. 

The City Council initially approved the measure with a 6-0 vote on October 19, but City Councillor Erik Peterson was absent and finalized it on Tuesday night. 

Some local cities have passed regulations to regulate short-term leases through permits and taxes, while other cities have completely banned short-term leases.

[Read: See residents' complaints for short-term rentals and the county's suppression]

Costa Mesa City Council members hope that the ban on short-term rentals will give them time to implement regulations on such rentals in response to community complaints.

Some residents are frustrated with the short-term rental industry. They say that the short-term rental industry attracts a young, noisy, noisy and party-loving group who park in the family community.

"The house next to our backyard behind us was turned into a short-term rental, and the party started from Thursday, Friday, Saturday to Sunday morning-a crazy party at Wildlife House," long-term resident Flo Martin at the meeting on Tuesday Said.

"I call the police in this animal house every week. I really want to open my garden hose and let him get it from our backyard, but I know it will be an attack and a beating," she said.

Martin said that after the ban on short-term rentals, the riots ceased and members of the city council were encouraged to keep the suspension.

The newly passed regulations also mentioned "gun-related incidents, including driving and shooting" in the complaint.

In a phone call on Wednesday, Marr said: "There has been a gun-related incident, which really scared many neighbors. They suddenly started asking about the condition of this property near them."

Other residents attended city council meetings to support short-term leases, and they believed that the business provided another form of income—especially during the pandemic that caused unemployment to rise.

They also said that they are self-regulating to weed out those who attend the party.

"We already understand all the problems with parties, and we even saw someone trying to book a house for a party. We started to implement a system such as staying at least 7 days to prevent the party from happening. Anyone under the age of 25 can't simply rent it. ," said Dagat Allison, whose parents used to rent out houses for short-term use.

"I hope that a licensing system can be implemented so that my parents can have an income even if they can't stay in Costa Mesa," Alison continued.

During the pandemic, short-term rental complaints in Costa Mesa increased.

Last year, city council members suspended short-term leases in the city for 45 days.

[Read: Costa Mesa temporarily bans short-term rentals because the city wants to regulate the industry]

The ban was later extended by the city council, exempting the “owner-occupied house shared short-term lease” and should expire on November 10.

There are also concerns that short-term rentals are affecting California's housing crisis.

Marr said in a call on Wednesday that the city has been studying how short-term leases might affect housing in other cities such as Encinitas.

"We are very worried about the exponential growth of the business operating in our community, and we are very sensitive to how to maintain housing," she said. "The idea that we might lose our housing stock due to short-term rentals is not attractive to most of us."

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a number of housing bills in response to the crisis to maintain and increase housing supply.

Senate Bill 60 approved by Newsom in September increased the maximum fines for short-term lease violations.

The city has three tools to enforce Costa Mesa’s newly passed laws, including fines.

According to the agenda report, violating the law is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in prison or a fine of $1,000.

Violations may also lead to civil subpoenas or reduce nuisance.

At the same time, part of the city council’s goal is to establish a short-term lease permit system.

Marr said she is very confident that next year the city council will issue a decree to tax short-term rentals and allow the city to inspect and obtain permits from problem operators.

"This is still a temporary measure. That's why the suspension, we will come back, we will have more comprehensive regulations, and we can discuss as a community," Marr said at the meeting on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, she said the goal is to enact regulations around June next year.

Hosam Elattar is the voice of OC report researcher. Contact him via or Twitter @ElattarHosam.

Noah Biesiada is the voice of OC report researcher. Contact him via or Twitter @NBiesiada.

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