To the Mayor and City Council of the City of Santa Barbara:

I would like to point out that when there is a need, people will find a way to meet it. There is obviously a definite and ongoing need for the kind of overnight housing that Airbnb and VRBO offer. You are in the process of making criminals of otherwise law-abiding people who are just trying to make it in this expensive city.

I do not understand why it is not possible to control any negative impact in our residential neighborhoods by dealing with problems as they come up.

I really do not understand the need to put such onerous parameters around shared housing. Most of these are situations that would not lead, ever, to workforce housing. As an example, my husband and I needed a two-year boost to our income so we could supplement the tuition of a foster child we came to care about in a therapeutic boarding school. We had nary a complaint from our neighbors; in fact they supported our efforts wholeheartedly. We obtained a license and paid our TOT taxes. When she graduated, our home became our own again.

A young man I know, lost his wife and would have lost his home since he no longer had her income and the need for childcare for their two little girls was greater. He tried permanent renters, UCSB students. He told me that students all come with a car. They all come with a girlfriend with a car. They never go to bed. It was a nightmare. When he went to Airbnb rentals, a young family in one car would drive up. They got up early, enjoyed the city all day, came home exhausted after dinner and went to bed. He and his neighbors were minimally impacted.

Which would you choose for your neighborhood? Or, would you have the young father lose his home?

I respectfully request that you revisit this issue. The mark of true leadership is when you can admit that you need to adjust your thinking.


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