Community asks Pacific Grove councilmembers to revisit short term rental ordinance

Community asks Pacific Grove...

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - UPDATE: City leaders and residents are working together to come up with a long term solution to the issue of short term vacation rentals in Pacific Grove.

City officials said 45 percent of the total building stock in Pacific Grove are second homes.

Last year city councils adopted an ordinance to control short term vacation rentals. Now they've circled back to that rule to possibly make some changes.

At Wednesday’s city council meeting, nearly 40 different options to adjust the city's current ordinance were presented.

"We are the only city on the peninsula that has a short term vacation rental program,” said Mark Brodeur, Pacific Grove Director of Community and Economic Development. “We understand that they're here so we'd rather regulate them then have them be underground and operating illegally."

Some of the key recommendations include only allowing 200 short term vacation rentals instead of 250 and placing a cap on property owners who live in their house and want to rent it out.

"Let's say they want to spend three summer months in Lake Tahoe, they would get to rent their house for 90 days,” said Brodeur. “The old ordinance did not have a cap on the number of those."

A petition is floating around PG asking for all short term vacation rentals to be 100 percent owner occupied, 100 percent of the time. As of right now, the city is not considering that option.

"That would be I think patently unfair quite honestly,” said Brodeur. “Whether you're a second homeowner here or a resident here you have a stake in the property."

Residents expressed mixed emotions to KION about having Airbnb's on their block. Some said they cause issues with noise, parking, take away from the character of the neighborhood and even force families out of their homes.

"When we go to make offers on homes we're competing against outside investors who are buying up homes to put them on the short term rental market, which is frustrating for a person who lives and works here in Pacific Grove," said PG resident Amanda Whitmire. 

Others said people should be able to do what they want with their homes. Airbnb’s are good for the local economy, and don't believe rental sites are the problem.

"Housing values increased a long time ago and have nothing to do with short term rentals,” said PG resident Antony Tersol. “This is a very desirable place to live, you can't isolate yourself from the rest of the economy."

City officials said they're looking to finalize the ordinance in the next couple of months. They need more input from the city council and to explore suggestions made by residents. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Changes to Pacific Groves short term rental ordinance could be on the way.

City counselors heard about 40 recommendations from the community to tweak the current ordinance. Community members  said short term rentals are changing the character of the neighborhoods and making it harder for locals to buy homes. 

At 5 p.m. Maya Holmes will have more on the possible changes. 

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