County considers vacation rental registration


Resource Management Agency planning staff has been directed by the Board of Supervisors to come up with a process for monitoring the short-term property rentals business in the county, especially as it pertains to vacation rentals in Three Rivers. Mike Washam, assistant director of RMA and chief of economic development, told the Tulare County Planning Commission at its regular meeting Wednesday, March 28, that staff is currently developing standards that would be appropriate for a registration process. Once approved by the BOS, the registration could be added to the existing zoning ordinance.
Washam also said that the BOS is not in favor of requiring special-use permits or a specific ordinance similar to the Kaweah River whitewater rafting ordinance approved in 1996. But if there are standards, Washam said, there would have to be some way to ensure enforcement.
Kuyler  Crocker, supervisor for the 1st District that includes Three Rivers, said his colleagues on the board are reluctant to impose any new fees. Only food trucks and adult entertainment clubs are currently required to have a business license in unincorporated Tulare County. 
“But if there are going to be standards for these rentals then there would have to be at least nominal fees to pay for inspections of the registered properties, Crocker said.
Crocker said he would be favor of a standard that would require each property to have an owner (on-site or not) or a property manager to be able to respond in a reasonable time in the event of a problem. 
Crocker also said that in 2019, when he is the BOS chair person, he will make it a priority to enhance the compliance and inspection capability of the County’s  building department.
“There is no reason we can’t take pride in our properties so that each community can be encouraged to clean up its problem sites and habitual offenders,” Crocker said. “A good jumpstart in the right direction is to make trash pickup mandatory.”
Other county business
Washam also said that a county inspector was in Three Rivers during this past weekend monitoring the chain rental business. One provider, who was set-up along the highway in front of the former Barby’s property, was found to be not in compliance with the property zoning. 
That operator was told to cease and desist after its rented inventory has been returned. Washam concluded his Director’s Report by saying that staff is currently revisiting the recent changes governing the use of marijuana because the current moratorium on licensing marijuana dispensaries in the county is set to expire soon.    

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