In November 2016, Santa Cruz placed a moratorium on the registration of any new short term rental without knowing how many rentals they had, what impact the ban would have on tax revenue, or the wider economic impact on the community. We are working to educate the City and Community on the facts.
The City of Santa Cruz is a coastal community, which has been a long-time vacation destination with many famous attractions and beaches. Of 23,635 housing units in the City of Santa Cruz, there are only 288 registered Vacation Rentals, and more than half of which are owner occupied. The City has for the past several years has required vacation rental owners to register and pay an 11% Transient Occupancy Tax on any rental of 30 days or less. In 2015 the City decided to begin the process of further regulating any rental of a dwelling for under 30 days. They began with regulating the rental of Accessory Dwelling Units, and the result was:
1) A complete ban on the use of ADU's as Short Term Rentals (except for 16 grandfathered ADUs).
2) The City placed deed restrictions on all grandfathered units which would terminate their short term rental rights upon sale.
3) The regulation further banned owners from living in their ADU and renting their primary residence as a vacation rental.
During the hearing on Accessory Dwelling Units, one of the Council Member directed City staff to begin researching how to ban all short-term rentals in the City. The City Council has selected a committee comprised largely of members opposed to short term rentals to draft recommendations to the City Council on a new law. The City is primed to severely limit or codify the temporary ban on the ability for all property owners to rent their homes on a short term basis.
Short-term rentals provide tangible benefits to providers, residents, travelers, businesses, and the local community. As such, it is important to ensure that communities develop smart regulations for governing short-term rentals that establish safeguards for both providers and travelers, alleviate neighborhood concerns, and offer a framework that promotes compliance.
We formed SCCRVA to protect all homeowners and business owners in our County from misguided regulations. We are advocating for reasonable regulation and responsible management. We also serve as a resource for our members, providing frequent legislative updates, news locally and elsewhere, better hosting resources, and opportunities to network with one another.
By raising community awareness of the issues involved, we hope to educate City leaders on the facts. Otherwise, the City may enact an off the cuff ordinance that HURTS EVERYONE. Other like minded Cities from Seattle to Southern California, are wisely using taxes from vacation rentals to become a cataylst for bond measures supporting the creation of affordable housing. Our community should do the same.