Non-Hosted Short-term Rentals Banned at Least Until November

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    Non-hosted short-term rentals are prohibited in Orinda at least until November while the City Council considers permanent regulations, including possible zoning code amendments and enforcement.
    City staff plans to have proposals for the new regulations for the City Council to consider early this year. The council, however, could approve further extensions if necessary and has two years to develop and adopt a permanent ordinance through a public hearing process, including Planning Commission review.
    Acknowledging that enforcement can be difficult, City Manager Steve Salomon said the city will approach Airbnb and state legislators for help.
    “We are trying to get the legislature to increase the fines for noncompliance,” Salomon said. “Right now, we’re rather limited in what we can do when someone doesn’t follow the rules. We also plan to raise registration fees.”
    Orinda passed a Short-Term Rental Ordinance in 2017, requiring owners to register properties that were rented out for less than 30 days and pay a Transient Occupancy Tax. In November the council adopted an urgency ordinance following a Halloween night shooting at an Airbnb rental on Lucille Way in Orinda that claimed five lives. The ordinance was extended on Dec. 19.
    Following the initial adoption of the urgency ordinance, city staff contacted registered owners of short-term rentals and asked them to either comply with the new requirements or withdraw their properties. As of Jan. 22, 42 registered owners had submitted a supplemental form indicating they will operate in line with the urgency ordinance and six had submitted withdrawal forms. One registered owner has not responded.
    For more information on the extended urgency ordinance, go to www.cityoforinda.org.

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