It is gratifying to see coverage of the until-now little known ordinance loophole that has allowed short-term rentals to conduct weddings, parties, and commercial events in residentially zoned neighborhoods. However, I have to add a few corrections to the article “Party Houses Still Irking Neighbors.” First, I am misquoted as saying “I’m tired of waking up to another weekend takeover,” when I was actually speaking on behalf of the immediate neighbors who have to deal with the problem house in More Mesa Shores, and my testimony stated, “We’re tired of waking up to see another weekend takeover of the street when no County inspectors are available for complaints, or calling the Sheriff for removal of cars or shutting down noise.” While I am personally bothered by the years of abuse to our neighborhood, the neighbors adjacent and nearby are most affected.
Secondly, the constant weekend weddings mentioned are more associated with the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse. Due to parking and other restrictions, we’ve been able to curb what used to be more frequent weddings and parties but still struggle with constant short-term rentals, film shoots, and the occasional wedding.
We were terribly disappointed that the amendments correcting the ordinance loophole were not approved after all the work that went into righting a wrong that would not have hurt the hospitality industry but would have assisted those who are impacted by large commercial events that impede the peace and safety of their residential neighborhoods; and we applaud Supervisor Janet Wolf for holding out and standing up for our concerns. As vacation rentals are on the rise, this issue will only grow. Other counties have used short-term rental ordinances to curb commercial and other abuses, and we’re putting our faith in the county to approve something strong to preserve our county’s zoning laws for residential and agricultural properties.