Short-Term Rental Ban Latest

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 27, 2018

In August, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors (BOS) received a briefing on Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STRs) in the Coastal Zone of the County and directed staff to return to the board with recommendations for how STRs should be allowed to operate in the Coastal Zone. 

In May, the California Coastal Commission denied the BOS’s ordinance amendments pertaining to the prohibition of STRs; the ban on STRs was approved locally in October of last year, after more than two years of multiple hearings, as well as community controversy over the issue. The STR ban passed at the County level included the prohibition of STRs in residential zones, agricultural zones, and mixed-use zones, while allowing “homestays” in residential and AG-1 zones, with restrictions. (A homestay is a short-term tenancy in which an owner or long term tenant of at least six months is on the property at the same time as the short-term tenants.) 

The BOS proposed that STRs would be also be allowed in commercial zones as well as a new overlay (dubbed the Coastal Zone Historic Overlay Zone), located in Montecito. That overlay spanned from South Jameson Lane to the beach, between part of Danielson Road and Posilipo Lane. Roads including Edgecliff Lane, Miramar Beach, Humphrey Road, and Eucalyptus Lane were included in the small overlay district. The Coastal Commission denied the ban, citing too few overnight accommodations for coastal visitors, and extremely high demand for the County’s campground units. 

In response to the Coastal Commission hearing, the BOS has directed staff to formulate ordinance amendment language that will allow the grandfathering in of STRs anywhere in the Coastal Zone; owners must show they’ve been paying Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the last five years. If an STR owner sells their home, the right to continue to short-term rent would be extinguished with the sale. First District supervisor Das Williams said the idea would be to create a “no net loss of STRs,” but prevent more from operating in the future. Owners would also have to renew their business license every year and be subject to regulations. 

The supervisors voted 3-2 on the issue; supervisors Williams, Hartman, and Wolf voted in favor, while Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino dissented. The proposed ordinance amendment language will be back in front of the BOS at a future hearing. 


You might also be interested in...