I have a family beach house on Padaro Lane, and I’m in favor of keeping short-term rentals (STRs) in Santa Barbara County, particularly in the beach area. The December 6 Board of Supervisors meeting will discuss this, and I believe the county’s staff report is unfair in that it ignores the historic use of beach-front properties as short-term rentals. I encourage the supervisors to follow the City of Carpinteria’s recent example. Their new regulation honors the historic use of short-term rentals by creating an overlay of the beach area, to allow existing short-term rentals that are licensed and paying Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
We’ve been renting our home since the 1970s and have never had a complaint. We have also been paying TOT tax to the county. My family is a member of the Padaro Lane Association with Tenant Guidelines that cover issues including noise, use of beach, trash, parking, etc.
The Coastal Commission supports Carpinteria’s new ordinance, in part because it allows beach access by people other than just owners. This is particularly relevant in Santa Barbara County beach areas where most of the homes are second or third homes that remain empty much of the year. Denying short-term rentals will deny many non-property owners the use of the beachfront and leave much of the area uninhabited.
The supervisors should honor the historic use of beachfront short-term rentals.