Rental Dollars and Sense

There are some negative aspects to short-term rentals, but they seem to be very small when measured against the positive aspects for any community. Affordable housing: This is a misunderstood view of short-term rentals. The fact is that if short-term rentals did not exist, it would not have any material affect on the affordable housing reserve. This has been verified by other communities looking at the same situation including Tiburon, Santa Monica, and La Jolla.

Why you would want to consider short-term rentals? It’s been proven by the communities above that short-term rentals bring revenue to a city. Sales taxes increase and, most important to a community like Montecito, is the type of visitor who spend money. The revenues received from a short-term, well-managed rental program exceed the basic projections that the community like Santa Barbara looks to incur.

Experience in other cities has clearly shown that when short-term rentals are banned they simply go underground. This means that cities incur additional costs to locate and fine said properties. Expenses to monitor illegal short-term rentals far exceeds the income that the city would have earned had those properties been able to operate legally.

I would ask that Santa Barbara consider establishing a short-term rental ordinance. A zoning code change could be made to allow short-term rentals that would not be objectionable to full-time residents. A short-term rental ordinance could limit the number of renters and cars per unit, along with maintenance of “quiet hours,” disallowing photo shoots, parities, etc. Also, all such property owners would be required to register their properties with the city and pay bed tax. I would think a short-term rental ordinance would be a win for the county and for those who are opposed to unregulated short-term rentals.

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