Board OKs 45-day pause on San Bernardino County short-term rentals – San Bernardino Sun

If you’re not already approved to rent out space on a short-term basis in San Bernardino County, you’re probably going to have to wait until later this summer — at least.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this week pressed pause on approving property owners to rent their spaces on sites and apps such as AirBNB, Trulia or Vrbo. The temporary ban lasts 45 days, extending through July 29.

“With the increasing popularity of (short-term rentals), particularly in our mountain and desert communities, there’s no doubt that it’s time to reconsider and restructure the existing rules,” Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe said in a news release after the board’s vote Tuesday, June 14. “Our long-term goal must focus on developing policies that ensure that vacationers and residents can coexist peacefully, while also preserving a sense of community for our local neighborhoods.”

The board also approved zoning restrictions, including:

  • Limiting permits to two per person — new permits only; existing permit holders will be grandfathered in.
  • Limiting occupancy based on dwelling size; with a maximum of 12 guests.
  • Incentivizing owners to purchase noise-monitoring devices.
  • Limiting the number of rentals based on parcel size.
  • Requiring permit numbers be displayed on web hosting platforms.
  • Eliminating automatic permit transfers when a property sells.

The zoning changes take effect July 28.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

The restrictions apply to the county’s mountain and desert areas. Neighborhoods near Big Bear Lake and Joshua Tree have seen more and more of what were once family residences turned into de facto hotels due to the popularity of short-term rentals, or STRs.

“It’s really made many of our residential neighborhoods into unsupervised hotel districts,” Fawnskin resident Barbara Fitz told the board Tuesday. Fawnskin is an unincorporated area near Big Bear Lake.

That’s not an accident, according to Fawnskin resident Peter Tennyson.

“Major investment funds are starting to push short-term rentals as an investment for out of town people,” he said. “That’s why our neighborhoods are being destroyed.”

Almost 40% of Pioneertown residences have been turned into short-term rental properties, according to resident Allen Saunders.

“We’ve lost a sense of neighborhood,” he said. “I don’t know anybody around me any more, other than one neighbor.”

Previously, Saunders said, neighbors would work together to evacuate older residents and livestock during wildfires.

“Now, with 40% of the neighborhood gone, I wouldn’t even know who to talk to,” he said.

But other residents said additional restrictions on short-term rentals would mean the loss of livelihoods for senior citizens and others who rely on them, and unfairly penalize people who want to rent out their vacation homes when not in use.

“I’m a young homeowner because of my STR in Joshua Tree,” said Cody Carlson. “At a time when there is so much economic uncertainty in the future, property owners need all options to cover their mortgages and STRs is a very important option.”

“Big Bear was a place that was designed (for) and the entire economy is based on tourism,” said resident Pat Inyard, noting she otherwise relies on her Social Security payments in her retirement. “Now we’re in a downturn,” she added. “This is not the time to do this.”

Joshua Tree resident Hillary Sloane told the board she owns a short-term rental, which supplements what she makes as a photographer.

“It has become a very vibrant part of my income and survival,” she said, speaking against over-regulation by the board. “I am also a senior, which limits opportunities to some degree.”

County officials urged residents concerned about noise complaints, trespassing or other issues with short-term rentals to call the county’s hotline for the issue at 800-205-9417.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *