Santa Barbara’s Lax Regulation of Short-Term Rentals

••• “A proposal to allow vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods blew up at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Vacation rental advocates and opponents agreed in comments that the ‘framework’ brought to the City Council was half-baked, and councilmembers tasked the Planning Commission with working on a new plan. […] Vacation rentals are only allowed in areas where there are also hotels. Even so, homeowners are running illegal vacation rentals citywide, and not paying transient occupancy taxes. Of the city’s 1,119 vacation rentals, only 101 are paying transient occupancy taxes. So the city proposed a plan to allow vacation rentals citywide, but make it tougher and more strict for homeowners to operate them.” —Noozhawk

••• “Two new laws in California will let developers bypass local governments to build housing on commercial land.” —KSBY

••• The Santa Barbara Police Department issued a press release about three burglaries it stopped; they appear to be unrelated. The burglar on Shoreline Drive entered through an upstairs window, which reminded me of the burglary near the San Ysidro Ranch I mentioned a week or two back. Same deal: the thief skipped the first floor, because second floors tend not to be alarmed. And for the Montecito one, the goal was evidently luxury handbags.

••• “UCSB recently led the News-Press on a tour of model rooms for its proposed Munger Hall — a student housing project that led to a protest last fall on campus and inspired national headlines because of its lack of windows.” Meanwhile, says the Daily Nexus, “new renderings of Munger Hall showcased on the university’s website detail the scale of the proposed dormitory.”

••• From a press release on Edhat: “The City is developing a design for bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements at the approaches to the Castillo Street undercrossing at U.S. Highway 101 on Castillo and Haley Streets.” So there are a couple of meetings for public input.

••• Montecito Med Spa has opened on Coast Village Circle. —Montecito Journal

••• “The fall cruise ship schedule in Santa Barbara will bring 16 ships to the area over the next three months,” including the Celebrity Solstice the other day, reports KEYT. “The City of Santa Barbara is planning to study the cruise ship impacts to see what the economics of this visits mean locally either on the day of the trip or if the passengers return another time.” Cruise ships bring many potential negatives, as this post from Santa Barbara Channelkeeper points out.

••• “California Appeals Court Blocks Feds’ Attempt to Reverse Offshore Fracking Moratorium […] Santa Barbara’s Environmental Defense Center Says U.S. Department of Justice Could Still Take Case to Supreme Court.” —Independent

••• “Mediation Leads to Settlement of Dispute Over Cost of Law Enforcement Services [….] Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang and Buellton accept adjusted contracts with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.” —Noozhawk

••• The tree of the month is the paperbark: “This tree’s most distinguishing feature—and the reason for its common name of ‘Paperbark Tree’—is its thick, white-beige, papery bark, which peels open in layers to form loose, ragged, rolls. While there are other Melaleuca species with papery bark, this species produces bark that is much thicker and more impressive than the others.” —Edhat


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