The Danville Town Council is set to tackle the issue of whether to regulate short-term residential rentals during a study session Tuesday morning.
The town currently has no ordinance specifically addressing such rentals -- generally defined as rentals of less than 30 days -- but local jurisdictions that opt to adopt legislation on the issue typically either allow short-term rentals with regulations or ban them entirely, according to Danville city attorney Robert Ewing.
The issue appeared on the town's radar earlier this year when Alamatos neighborhood residents complained about a neighbor renting a room through Airbnb and asked Danville officials to establish an ordinance on the topic, Ewing wrote in his staff report to the council. That's the only short-term rental property about which the town has received complaints, he noted.
Town officials researched the issue, finding that the short-term residential rental trend has been "growing rapidly" in general but figuring out an exact number of sites available in Danville "is difficult to ascertain ... and likely varies over time," Ewing said.
Staff reviewed three host websites Aug. 27 and found 15 properties in Danville listed on Airbnb, three on HomeAway and one on VRBO, according to Ewing. Officials estimate there are about 16,000 housing units in the town overall.
Reasons cities choose to adopt policies on short-term rentals include losses of affordable housing stock, transient occupancy tax and hospitality jobs -- none of which are concerns for Danville, Ewing said. Perhaps the most relevant consideration for Danville is neighborhood compatibility, he added.
"A number of cities have determined that short-term rentals are an acceptable land use, so long as they are regulated in order to minimize impacts on the community," Ewing told the council.
The regulations tend to address topics such as maximum number of guests or rooms, a cap on rental days per year, parking requirements, creating permits or fees, and whether to allow the rentals in secondary units or guest homes, according to the city attorney.
On the flip side, cities opting to prohibit short-term rentals in residential districts usually cite one of two reasons: "even with regulation, the use is incompatible with residential uses, or regulation is ineffective because it is too labor intensive for city staff," Ewing said.
He recommends the council receive his report Tuesday, hear any public input and give direction to staff about whether to draft an ordinance regulating or banning short-term rentals for future consideration. Staff is also looking for direction on public outreach and notification on the potential ordinance.
The study session is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 8) at the town offices, 510 La Gonda Way.
In other business Tuesday, the council members will receive an update on synthetic turf replacement at Diablo Vista Park, and they will discuss this year's town Community Service Awards program.