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Pacific Grove continues battle with short-term rentals

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - While some cities in Monterey County have been adamant about not allowing short term rentals, the city of Pacific Grove has taken a different approach, allowing homeowners to be licensed to rent and making a million dollars a year in taxes.

But the city is now looking to take back some of those permits.

Tucked away in a quiet street in Pacific Grove is the little blue house, home to curtains made of ties, quirky kitchenware and glowing reviews on airbnb.

Joy Colangelo has been a host for three years and is a big proponent of the "sharing economy."

"You are not affording Paris Hilton’s lifestyle, you are doing mine, and I'm in the same economic class as my visitors.”

But you don’t have to walk that far to find residents who don’t exactly like those short term rentals. 

Just across the street from the little blue house, you will find signs like this one saying, “keep neighborhoods for neighbors."

"I’ve compared it to living in an airport terminal at times. They arrive at all hours of the night. They pull luggage up and down, they shout back and forth. They all have rental cars that go, ‘beep.’”

Thom Akeman says at one point there were as many as nine rentals on his street. Nine too many for Akeman, but the city wants to continue with vacation rentals, just not have them all in one area.

"Less than saying those are a lot. We’ve more heard about certain areas that are more populated with them, and so that’s where the lottery comes in. The lottery is more to reduce the over dense blocks and less to bring down the number city wide.”

But Colangelo says rental hosts shouldn’t be paying for the city’s airbnb policy "experiment."

"So they’ve almost entrapped us in a way buy issuing a lot of permits and saying, ‘uh oh, we have too many.’”

So far, the proposal says if more than 15 percent of the homes on a street are short terms rentals, owners have to enter a lottery to determine who gets licensed.

"We have to go into a lottery with each other, with out own neighbors now and one of us loses that lottery. That’s just not fair,“ says Colangelo.

The PG city council will host a special meeting on Monday to get public opinion before moving forward. It will be at the community center at 5 p.m.


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