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Sacramento Moves Forward With Parts Of A Short-Term Rental Ordinance

airbnb / courtesy

airbnb / courtesy

A proposal that would allow people to rent out their homes and apartments using websites or apps like Airbnb has passed the Sacramento City Council Law and Legislation Committee.

The plan would allow as many as six people to rent two rooms in a home for less than 29 days.

Councilman Jay Schenirer says the city is working on an enforcement provision.

"It's okay, unless you're having, and I want to leave this to the discretion of staff, some number of either complaints and/or citations." 

Supporters of allowing short-term renting, like Georgia Rose, say people are already renting out rooms with minimal effects on neighbors.

"They rent a car and share it or they take the light rail or other kinds of transportation. I've never had any problems. My neighbors have had any problems. In fact, I don't know if they know what's going on."

Kate Riley lives in the River Park area. She would like to have short-term stay operators clear guests with neighbors.

"I bought a house in a residential zone. I didn't buy a house in a mixed-use, residential, mini-hotel zone. And, by changing these rules and authorizing these uses without any kind of role for me or my neighbors in whether or not they occur is going to negatively affect my home."

Council members say it's important that the ordinance require the city to notify neighbors once -before a homeowner begins renting  out space on a semi-regular basis.

The committee split on the idea of requiring a conditional use permit.  

Councilman Jeff Harris is for it.

"I like the idea of giving neighbors the ability to understand that there is a business moving into their neighborhood and that they do have recourse in a hearing -at a CUP hearing."

Angelique Ashby says it would be prohibitive.

"If we say to people, anybody who's doing this has to come up with $3,000, then people who are just making a few thousand dollars a year to do it are gonna step out."

The city will develop permit options that include a flat fee and a tiered system corresponding to the number of days a home is rented. 

Some council members objected to the idea of a $3,000 conditional use permit as a requirement to rent out space as potentially prohibitive.

Council members voted to eliminate a part of the proposed language that would require a home owner to be present for at least six-and-a-half hours a night.

Ashby said that part of the proposal could create "awkward" situations between homeowner and renter.

The proposal will next go before the planning commission.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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