Montecito Says No to Short-Term Rentals

Growing sentiment countywide against short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods received more unanimous backing with the Montecito Planning Commission’s recent support of an all-out ban, even in areas where vacation homes have been operating for years, such as Miramar Beach.

While the five-member commission remained open to short-term vacation rental proponents, who cautioned against a blanket beatdown based on temporary traffic congestion and a few noisy party pads, their hardline unanimous vote boiled down to preserving the semirural residential character spelled out in Montecito’s 23-year-old community plan.

“We have to draw a line in the sand,” said commissioner Susan Keller, who related a story about her longstanding next-door neighbors – “a lovely family with a small child” – getting booted by their landlady because “she decided she could make a killing by renting out her home [on a short-term basis].”

While Keller’s anecdote exemplified the growing concern that the exploding number of vacation getaways has removed long-term rentals from an already strained market, it also spoke to what she called “a void.” Where once lived a family — with ties to neighbors and a kid lined up with local schools — is now an empty shell periodically occupied by out-of-towners with little vested interest in the greater Montecito community.

The commission’s sentiment — essentially an advisory opinion — will be taken into consideration as the County Board of Supervisors addresses the issue next year.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.