Short-term rental ordinance on track for September hearing

The draft of Tulare County’s short-term rental ordinance remains on schedule for a mid-September public hearing at the bi-monthly meeting of the Tulare County Planning Commission. The purpose of the ordinance: To establish uniform regulations in the county for use of privately owned residential dwellings as short-term rentals to minimize negative impacts on surrounding properties and to ensure the health and safety of all involved parties.

Don’t be misled by the short-term-rental catch-all.  In Three Rivers, these are vacation rentals. According to an independent data source utilized by the hotel and lodging industry, there are now 250 of these properties operating in or near the immediate vicinity of Three Rivers.

Of that number, there are approximately 180 advertised as Airbnb listings with the remainder being listed on other booking sites like VRBO and Home Away. Some properties are listed on multiple platforms.

The ordinance seeks to provide an application and a one-time registration fee of $500. Occupancy standards ensure the property complies with the California Fire Code, California Building Code, and National Fire Safety Association standards.

The occupancy standards also define limits, number of day-use guests permitted during certain hours, and parking restrictions. There are also 14 general requirements that cover everything from on-site parking (on-street parking is prohibited) to a stipulation that each unit is cleaned after each change of occupancy. Each short-term residential unit must have a clearly visible posted notice containing emergency and property contact information and basic occupancy regulations. A property boundary map will also be required to deter trespassing on other private properties.

In addition, there are three sections of enforcement defining violations and procedures for suspension or revocation of permits to operate. An amortization section defines non-conforming properties and stipulates that their use must be discontinued after December 31, 2021.

View and download the Draft Short Term Rental Ordinance here.

Two ways to submit comments: (1) comment on this article via 3RNews; or (2) send via email to Kuyler Crocker, District 1 Supervisor at: kuyler.crocker@gmail.com.

 

12 thoughts on “Short-term rental ordinance on track for September hearing

  • August 9, 2019 at 6:37 am
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    Is there anything about no open fires, no fire rings, or something to deter campfires? This has been a problem at multiple locations.

    Reply
    • September 27, 2019 at 9:42 am
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      Yes if you read it there is a section concerning wood fires and BBQ’s.

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    • September 27, 2019 at 3:04 pm
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      The proposed fire rules leave much to be desired, as stated in the article above. There isn’t even (yet) a requirement that any fire must be attended at all times by an adult. Even if an open fire were to be permitted in some places, an adult needs to be present.

      Also, especially in the country (Three Rivers) the specific street address should be posted next to the telephone, so that if a renter has to make an emergency call to authorities, s/he would have ready access to that vital information (which a renter would not know off the top of his/her head).
      Thanks for accepting comments through this site, John & Sarah.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 8:34 am
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    Thank you John and Sarah. I love your new on-line ‘paper’ and think you are doing a great job.
    Of course I was a fan when you were “The Commonwealth” 🙂

    I suppose you have already heard that the link to:
    “View and download the Draft Short Term Rental Ordinance here.” is coming up almost blank.
    If that is available to send over I would appreciate that information. Of course I will watch for the fix on 3R News.
    Thank you! Mark

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    Two things:

    1. The ordinance needs to list which “fire code” applies: residential or hotel? They are very different.
    2.. The ordinance needs to be more specific on what must be logged in terms of nuisance call-ins. It should at least be date, time, complainant name and phone, complaint, and resolution. This would mean also that complainants would be required to give their names and phone numbers in order to register a complaint.

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  • September 27, 2019 at 10:35 am
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    What is entirely amazing to me is that the Zoning laws are all but being completely ignored here. I invested in a rural residentially zoned RESIDENTIAL neighborhood! Zoning laws are supposed to be protecting me over and above any commercially (or industrial), profit at my expense, oriented business. Short Term Vacation Rentals are retail businesses with foot traffic and vehicular traffic and ALL the associated characteristics of a retail business period. A Residential neighborhood and a commercial entity do not mix, it is oil and water. Many of us are dang angry about having our right trampled on so Joe Blow and company profit at the expense of our neighborhoods. It is wrong and we should organize to demand that the county uphold our rights. We are contemplating forming an organization to bring a law suit against the county for blatantly ignoring the zoning laws and property rights of residentially zoned residents. Any variation or exception to the zoning law requires a special use permit. So, let’s see a show of hands for those of you that are long-term permanent residents that want a vacation rental next door to you (or on both sides of you), anyone? Anyone? Or a show of hands for those who volunteer their time in the operations of a community water company who want to continue putting time into someone’s profit margin for free and who like being forced labor without compensation…. anyone?

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    • October 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm
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      I’m sorry, but I think your stated position is absurd. This is a gateway community that literally lives off tourism. Did you somehow miss that when you decided to invest here? I sure didn’t. Furthermore, if someone buys a vacation home here, it’s much better to have income coming into the community then to have a home sitting untended and empty when not in use. It’s not a zoning issue either. Most STRs are kept up to a stellar standard welcoming nature-loving people from all over the world. We are mainly retired and planned for this lifestyle for years. This is my dream come true. I literally sold everything and invested in my home & cabins to do this. Why some people would want us to fail and no longer be able to survive and give back to this town is simply beyond me. If there are trouble STRs then address those. I’ve never ever had an issue or complaint.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:37 am
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    I agree these properties are not zoned commercial and shouldn’t be allowed to be used as such. Looks like the county wants the fees from these properties so they are going to regulate. Any of these air bnb’s operating in a residential. Neighborhood are violating their zoning ordinance and should be turned into the county.

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  • October 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm
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    Basically there is no difference in the use of the home. Vacation Rentals have been a respected retirement investment for decades upon decades, surely, you must’ve known that when you moved to a National Park? Zoning laws protect you from a mini market going in next door, for instance. I would much rather see vacation rentals (or not) rather than large obtuse hotels. I don’t really notice or see any where I live because I live on 5 acres. The world is changing and people have to bring their brains and hearts up to 2019, to the Internet, where the world has accepted open door shared economy principles, under used or unused resources rather than building a mean ugly foot print of a hotel although there is quite a bit of lobbying going on from the hotel industry (to the tune of 56 million in 2018) to persuade folks otherwise. If a neighborhood is bothered they would do well to create CCR’s, perhaps grandfather existing vacation rentals in. We are a very independent town, it’s too bad common sense has not prevailed to take care of the few problems we’ve heard about. The most important thing is to be a good neighbor. But whatever should be required of a traveler/vacation rental owner should also be enforced for every person who lives in the same town. Guests use the home far less than permanent residents. They are held to stricter codes of conduct or can lose their deposits. There are noise monitors that are now available. Guests spend far more money at the local businesses than residents. And might I add they use the septic system far less as their time is mostly spent in the park . An average stay is two days – their goal is to get into the park and see as much natural beauty as possible. If there are 230 vacation rentals in town I guess I can say I am speaking for a good portion of them. I think that homes that are intimate, have a smaller footprint, create goodwill around the world for our little town that borders the park that protects the iconic trees and their heritage on the planet is an amazing service and should be honored and appreciated. Our reviews speak for themselves compared to most of the hotels in town and show we work hard, that we care, and most of us are retirees. Instead of the county or authorities taking care of a few party houses which there has been no proof brought forth as far as complaints go (and they have been requested and I don’t doubt that there are a few that need to be approached for noise issues, (most already have been approached and are cooperating with their neighbors), or checking out the one septic system failure we have heard about or the community amending their CC& R’s there is a pitchfork crew losing it and parroting negativity and requiring folks to spend hundreds of dollars and jump through a lot of hoops, saddle up to a lot of silly and redundant laws, insisting that the county make new laws to enforce existing laws ~ this is just backwards. Again whatever you ask of any Vacation Rental owner you should consider for yourself. (fire rules, trash rules, noise rules, septic rules, permit rules on existing buildings, etc.) And no offense but if somebody just got to a vacation rental I’m pretty sure they know the address. That being said I don’t know any Vacation Rental operator who doesn’t have a manual, with the address and the Wi-Fi code on it. There ought to be gratitude in this county, with the only bit of prosperity brought to the area being brought by our vacationers there ought to be an ambulance, and a second sheriff and some civility and appreciation all around.

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  • October 28, 2019 at 11:17 am
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    It is hard to add to this because you hit on every note! Two of our vacation rentals do not have kitchens they are just a very nice hotel room on beautiful acreage. We tell them where to go eat and what to do in our town when they are not in the park. We have menus and information that we give them. It is a wonderful feeling when you know you are making someone’s vacation a little better. We also are retired and this is what we do now. I also feel there is no appreciation for what vacations rentals do for our town! thank you Cara!

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    • October 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm
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      Thank you, Linda – as hard as we are working it is difficult to be lumped into the “bad neighbor” category when we are anything but that – we are more vested in our own property than anybody else could ever be , whether a neighbor or the county. We care immensely if our septic fails ( toilets don’t work )!- thAt should be a no brainer. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a bad idea, the overwhelming majority of vacation rentals are amazing In every way. Identify the few problems, and fix them -easy Peezy .

      Reply

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