Last week town council members addressed their support for banning short-term residential rentals, saying that Danville has a “small town” charm that needs to be preserved.
“That small-town atmosphere makes Danville what it is,” said Councilman Newell Arnerich, adding he has heard complaints from all over town about homes that rent out rooms through Airbnb, HomeAway and other websites. “It has become a problem.”
Arnerich was joined by three other council members in approving a ban on rentals of less than 30 days in residential areas. This ban effectively ends Airbnb-style rentals in town.
Mayor Karen Stepper called these types of rentals “commercial use in a residential place.”
The ordinance will be affirmed March 1st and will be effective 30 days after that.
Cities all over the U.S. and California have been discussing this same issue as the sharing economy of lodging has become more popular. Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and other cities have started regulating and taxing the rental hosts as a solution to the community concerns. Anaheim has limited the number of rental permits it issues. Monterey, Pacific Grove, Tiburon, Santa Monica, Ojai, Manhattan Beach and now Danville have banned the rentals completely.
There were more than 100 people attending the council discussion last week. Several attendees claimed that instituting a ban would infringe on private property rights, and one individual called it an overreach of government.
Melinda Malin, an attendee, claimed that Airbnb renters had been a lifeline for her family after they suffered a job loss. “This has been one way for us to stay in Danville,” she said.
Most claimed that the prospect of strangers in staying in their neighborhoods compromised the atmosphere in Danville. Some even claimed that they had already lodged complaints about the noise and traffic associated with people coming and going at all hours.
Lara Forbes spoke about living next door to a home that uses Airbnb and her concern about her property values. “We didn’t buy our house with the intention of living next to a motel,” she said.
The Town Attorney Rob Ewing said that police aren’t concerned that the 15 to 20 homes currently offering a short-term rental present a crime problem.
Dissenting Councilman Robert Storer said much of the trouble was centered in Alamatos. He believes the problem seems to come from one unpopular house addition that towers over a neighbor’s backyard, and the related resentfulness, than of people renting a room at that house.
“I see a great deal of fear but not many facts,” said Storer, adding that out of Danville’s 16,000 homes, about 20 do short-term rentals. “Frankly, I don’t see a problem here.” He favored more discussion.
Households violating the ban could be cited or sued.
If you are in the market to buy or sell your home, or if you have questions about the real estate options in your area, please give me, Ray Marquez, a call at 888-584-9427 ext 119 or by email at Ray@RayMarquez.com. You can also visit my website at www.RayMarquez.com.