“One member of the public who spoke up during the meeting was Joy Colangelo, who lives in Pacific Grove and is a staunch advocate for short-term rental owners. Colangelo was pushing for perpetuity, and she also invited the Carmel council to come watch a trial that was scheduled to start on Dec. 16 in Monterey County Superior Court, pitting short-term landlords against the city of P.G. for allegedly violating their rights with limits on the rentals. The plaintiffs are represented by the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Phoenix. Colangelo touted their attorney, Goldwater executive VP Christina Sandefur: “She’s a wizard!” Coangelo gushed. Alas, the trial was not to be.” Note – said “Wizard” voluntarily dismissed the most important claim and therefore the trial was cancelled – court approved the dismissal on Nov 21.
And lawyers keep on charging
In essence, the short-term rental supporters allege that the lottery randomly singled them out without providing a cause for why their licenses to operate short-term rentals were not renewed. The city counters that it was stated in writing when the property owners signed the license application that it was good for only 12 months and might not be renewed.
Case watchers agree that Goldwater wants to lose as soon as possible so they can then appeal the verdict to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case is more far-reaching than just Pacific Grove. If successfully appealed to the Ninth Circuit, then the outcome of that court’s decision, one way or the other, could have significant ramifications for cities’ ability to legislate short-term rentals up and down California.
However, the Ninth Circuit earlier this month upheld the city of Santa Monica’s ban on short-term rentals. That decision can now be cited in lower court cases such as the lawsuit against the city of Pacific Grove.
Ballot measure to keep mini hotels out of residential neighborhoods passes
“Our City Council stopped paying attention to the residents and gave more attention to the out-of-town investors and so we had no choice but to do a ballot initiative,” he said. “The community won.”
Those backing the measure included residents who view STRs and their tenants as disruptive and overrunning their small town and changing the character of “America’s Last Hometown.” There are also associations like the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce concerned that such vacation rentals are negatively affecting the business of the town’s inns and hotels.
“We have a plan if ‘Yes’ wins and if ‘No’ wins,” said P.G. resident Joy Colangelo, noting that if the measure did pass, those for STRs would write another initiative in a year or so to try to get STRs back.
Council members will decide between adopting the ordinance without alteration or immediately ordering an election, at which time the ordinance would be submitted to a vote by city voters during the November 2018 election. Their third option would be to direct city staff to prepare an analysis of the initiative’s business and fiscal impact.
“If I was going to think consistency and go with how city has acted in past, I suspect the council will lean toward putting it on the ballot,” he added.
While the item’s agenda report estimated getting the initiative on the ballot would cost from $58,206 to $77,608, Coletti said the city is confusing the total cost for an election with the cost of adding a single item to an existing ballot and that it would actually be much less.
“As an example, it only cost the city $8,500 to add Measure P (the unsuccessful admissions tax) to the November, 2016 ballot,” said Coletti.
Tax the tourists. Oh, and 41 percent come up negative on short term cyber rentals.
The survey also showed that 41 percent of the 375 likely voters surveyed on the phone and online believe that the city has done a “poor” job of managing the city’s vacation rentals, while 28 percent gave the same grade for the way the city manages its pension obligations. Similarly, 22 percent said P.G. is doing poorly managing its finances.
Do these businesses in the residential areas have full ADA access like real businesses? What about safety items like fire sprinklers?
Pacific Grove continues to grapple with a revenue shortfall, one that the city’s newly revised short-term rental program is meant to diminish Mayor Bill Kampe said in his State of the City address on Tuesday night.
That’s where the topic of short-term rentals came in with Kampe providing a short history of the city’s program that started in 2011 and was expected to generate $200,000 a year in revenue but now exceeds $1 million in transient occupancy tax. On Feb. 21, the city council passed an ordinance 4-1 that amended the city’s new short-term rental policy adopted in December to include a lottery system, which functions to get the number of STRs down from 290 to 250 and make it so that only 15 percent of housing per block is dedicated to such rentals.
Get out and sign that petition then remember to VOTE!
Check the neighbor’s website www.pgneighbors.com for some eye popping maps showing just how much of the town is being marketed to non residents.
Pacific Grove residents concerned about vacation rentals disrupting their neighborhoods have proposed a ballot initiative to keep the commercial operations out of their residential zones. A new public action committee, Pacific Grove Neighbors United, will be asking voters to stop the short-term rentals the city has allowed despite scores of complaints from impacted neighbors.
The group will host a campaign kick-off party to start a signature drive and every PG voter interested in signing; helping with the campaign or just seeking information is welcome to attend. The party will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, January 20, in Jewell Park, corner of Central and Forest Avenues.
Signature gatherers will soon spread out to the Post Office, the farmers’ market, grocery stores, and local events and even door to door in the drive that needs 1,000 valid voter signatures to get the initiative on the November, 2018 ballot.
And take the uncaring elected officials with them.
A group of Pacific Grove residents have introduced a proposed initiative measure that would prohibit short-term rentals in the city’s residential zones.
They included the intent to prohibit short-term rentals in most residential neighborhoods, city’s efforts to regulate short-term rentals as unsuccessful and insufficient to curb the negative impacts of such rentals, and to ensure that Pacific Grove has adequate housing for city residents to remain the “city of homes” as provided in the City’s Charter, General Plan and Municipal Code. It also recognized that the city may continue to regulate short-term rentals in the Coastal Zone as long as those regulations protect the community and are consistent with laws administered by the California Coastal Commission. Lastly, it proposed prohibiting short-term rentals in designated residential districts without changing existing rules that permit home-sharing.
No lottery to ration out the licenses for weekend rental of homes. The mayor sides with other newcomers to pimp houses to short term rentals and further degrade the quality of life for permanent residents. Remember all this when election time comes around, non resident owners can’t vote.
That was the decision made Monday night on a 4-2 vote at a special meeting/workshop held at the Pacific Grove Community Center to clarify the short-term rental lottery procedure. The four-hour meeting had upward of 100 in attendance, many of whom were short-term rental owners. Council members Bill Peake and Nick Smith were those that remained in favor of keeping the lottery. Councilman Robert Huitt was not in attendance Monday.
It was in October that council members approved the first reading of Pacific Grove’s amended short-term rental policy. That ordinance incorporated the use of a lottery system that would siphon out short-term rentals in areas where their numbers exceed density requirements.
The ordinance, which will now have a new first reading at the Dec. 6 council meeting, allows only 15 percent of housing per block dedicated to short-term rentals and for that number to include both Type A (owner doesn’t necessarily reside at site) and Type B (owner resides on site) licenses. Other changes include adopting a 55-foot zone of exclusion to address density problems of short-term rentals and that the total number of STRs be capped at 250 citywide.
Come-here spend-more politicians say more taxes will solve everything.
Kampe called the argument that STRs are the cause of a lack of affordable housing “nonsense.” He said the real problem is vacant second homes, something the city has no control over.
Kampe and three other council members said they would favor keeping the STR license program, but with limitations like capping the total number of licenses, the number of nights, and other aspects. One council member, Rudy Fischer, was absent.
Only one council member, Robert Huitt, said he believes STRs violate residential zoning ordinances and should be phased out.