Thursday, March 31, 2016

County short-term rental regulations will be delayed a little longer

After three years, short-term rental operators in the county's unincorporated areas have reached the end of their patience. But they will likely have to wait several more months for new county regulations for their industry.
On Wednesday, several of them showed up at a county Planning Commission workshop, which was set to provide a status report on the development of rules designed to govern rentals for less than 30 days, as well as special events, and called for county officials to expedite the long-delayed regulations.
They also called for a moratorium on county enforcement, including prosecution of alleged violations of the county's de facto ban on short-term rentals while the regulations are being drafted. County code does not allow short-term rentals in the coastal zone.
But county staff, including retiring Planning Director Mike Novo and Resource Management Agency special programs manager Melanie Beretti, told the commission development of new short-term rental regulations, and those aimed at governing special events, have had to take a back seat to the Carmel River and Lagoon project and the developing medical marijuana regulations, which have taken up staff time. They said staff would likely begin focusing on the short-term rental rules this summer, and an ordinance could be adopted by spring next year. Special events rules would follow, they said.
Speakers at Wednesday's hearing said they were not pleased with the response on the issue from Supervisor Dave Potter, whose office convened an 18-member working group last year aimed at developing regulations, but who they said has not acted quickly enough.
Potter is running for re-election against former United Way executive director Mary Adams in the District 5 race. The district features the vast majority of short-term rentals in the unincorporated county.

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