Regarding the issue of Airbnb and other short-term rental permits in Santa Barbara, I understand that there are two issues the city needs to evaluate:
(1) Potential problems of noise around the household’s short-term rentals
(2) How short-term rentals affect the availability and cost of long-term rentals in our city.
My sympathy goes for anyone who lives beside a noisy house. Whether those short-term rentals create more noise problems is a different story, and one that is very easy to research. Are there many more complaints from neighbors of short-term rentals? I believe research already done on the subject showed no impact. And if we do not trust the source of the results, the data exists and can be mined with ease.
Regarding the lack of long-term rentals in Santa Barbara, do we think that it is the responsibility of individual homeowners to solve the problem? This is an issue that needs more discussion, and more solutions need to be brought to the table. We no more can ask people to open their houses to others on a long-term basis so the city problems abate than we can demand from part-time residents to rent their houses while they are unoccupied. Can we?
I urge the City Council to have all citizens’ concerns in mind, to refrain from giving preference to Big Influencers, and to look creatively for solutions to the long-term rental problem.