Danville to consider prohibiting Airbnb-type rentals

Midyear budget review, street closures for events, informational reports among other meeting topics

The Danville Town Council is set to discuss Tuesday whether to institute a town-wide ban on short-term residential rentals, such as those offered through Airbnb.

Supporters of the recommended prohibition ordinance cited concerns related to public safety, traffic and neighborhood compatibility during town officials' public debate to date, according to city attorney Rob Ewing.

The topic first landed on the Town Council's radar last year when Alamatos neighborhood residents complained about a neighbor renting a room through Airbnb and asked town officials to examine creating rules for short-term residential rentals -- generally defined as rentals of less than 30 days -- since the town had no rules on the books specifically addressing such rentals.

The council also later heard from residents and a local commuter in support of allowing short-term rentals to continue operating in Danville.

There have been an average of 15 housing units in Danville (ranging from individual rooms to entire homes) listed on short-term rental sites over the past six months, out of approximately 16,000 housing units in the town overall, Ewing said in his staff report to the council.

The Danville Planning Commission discussed the issue in November and again last month, reviewing options for prohibiting short-term residential rentals or allowing them to operate subject to regulations. A majority of commissioners voted Jan. 26 to recommend the council approve the ban ordinance, Ewing said.

Violations could be addressed through a civil injunction, criminal citation or administrative citation. The commission supported adding a provision specifying residents could also file a private nuisance action against a neighbor violating the ban ordinance.

Ewing told the council he disagreed with that provision because residents already have the ability to bring a private nuisance cause of action under state law and adding it to the town's municipal code would not add to that right and could set a precedent for future town ordinances.

The council members are set to decide whether to endorse the ban ordinance, support a proposal that instead would allow short-term rentals with regulations or take no action and continue seeking public input on the issue.

If the council supports the ban ordinance Tuesday, it would return for final approval March 1.

The council's regular meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday inside the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.

In other business

* The council will consider accepting the town's midyear budget report and approving midyear adjustments to the budget and capital improvement program.

"Through midyear, the town's overall financial condition remains strong, with both revenues and expenditures tracking positively in comparison to the approved budget," Town Manager Joe Calabrigo wrote in his staff report to the council.

* Council members will weigh authorizing street closures for 10 community events, including the Devil Mountain Run, Fourth of July Parade, Danville d'Elegance, Run for Education and Danville Fall Crafts Festival.

* They will discuss appointing Randy Haberl as the Heritage Resource Commission's representative to the Historic Design Review Committee.

* The council will also hear reports on the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce as well as an update following the town's annual planning and goal-setting workshop earlier this month.

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27 people like this
Posted by Greg
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:30 am

Really folks our local officials have nothing more important? So we have 15 units out of 16,000 who on a monthly basis may be temporarily using their private property to make a few extra bucks and the town council sees fit to regulate this?

So 15/16,000 is .0009% of the housing units. The planning commission thinks this activity should be banned? Based on what?

The nanny state is alive and well in Danville, Ca. What a shame.

27 people like this
Posted by Gus
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:11 am

The key word is PRIVATE. Not sure why a local town "committee" thinks they have the right to legislate how a PRIVATE homeowner wants to handle their property. Wake up Danville!

24 people like this
Posted by Randy
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

I have to agree with Greg, Why should the town council make the decision put it to a vote of the people. I think they can find something better with there time just because someone doesn't like someone renting a room for a few days.

10 people like this
Posted by Richard
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:42 am

While I can be sympathetic to any neighborhood that suffers disruption from foolish homeowners who leave their rental unsupervised, I find it remarkable that our normally reasoned and rational town council (not to mention the Planning Commission??? What happened there???!!!) would even consider using a sledgehammer to drive a thumbtack! This is un-American and embarrassing to me.

Since I too do not want to suffer from the acts of a foolish irresponsible neighbor either, I would recommend some regulatory remedy so that there is at least some avenue to pursue. But a citywide "Ban"...bull.

Does mob rule reign in Danville! Jeb Mcgee's fight to develope his private property comes to we go again!

9 people like this
Posted by Reecharde Pettye
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

Cue some timid, under-busy matron afear'd that hot-rodding rental riff-raff will mow down her precious snowflake.

Because refined, upstanding, local property-owning riphe-raffe never speed, nor texte, nor drive drunque.

First world non-problem.

12 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

We have a second home in the mountains where a resident uses Airbnb. Nothing but problems. Constant loud parties.

The place is often left such a mess that they have a hard time keeping housekeepers who will clean up after.

Wouldn't want a short term rental next to my Danville house.

14 people like this
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

There is no need for Danville to have Airbnb-type rentals.

As I remember towns like Danville have some thing called hotels that are properly zoned for temporary housing!

Please, as a community I hope we can keep Airbnb-type rentals out way rather than this attitude of anything goes, without out concern of community or the people in the community.

We might as well have the developers start building 10 story high rises for lots of short term rentals in Danville!

15 people like this
Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

You can not do whatever you want with your private property. Maybe I might to build a Harley Davidson motorcycle repair shop and bar in my front yard. My point is what you do with your property affects the community...That's why there are zoning laws.

10 people like this
Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Greg, what if your neighbor built an addition with several bedrooms and bathrooms (and this addition has no entry to the main house but is basically and "attached but freestanding" structure") with the intent to rent these room out through Air BnB?

These homeowners plan on using this location as an income producing "short term rental". How is that a homeowner "making a few extra bucks"?
Whereas the AirBnB model might work for some people/neighborhoods where if someone should choose to take the risk of inviting a complete stranger to live in their home for a "short term"; this is being greatly taken advantage of by other homeowners such as the one mentioned.

Yes, these are private homes but as "Thomas" and "Homeowner" stated, there are zoning laws and the town MUST enforce these laws.

10 people like this
Posted by Michele
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm

I certainly would not want people in my neighborhood flagrantly renting out their homes or rooms in their homes on a "short term" basis. To be specific, NOTHING wrong with rentals but long-term renters come with reference checks, deposits etc. And the homeowner/landlord is held responsible.

Short term rentals are a different animal. There is no background check for Air BNB which shocked me the one time I looked into it.

Who in their right minds would allow this?

Danville, yes, there ARE zoning laws and allowing people to operate (Air) Bed and Breakfasts at their whim is unlawful. (by the way, are these people paying taxes? I would guess not).

7 people like this
Posted by Ryan
a resident of Diablo
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm

As I read and see my fellow Diablo residents, I must say I'm surprised by their complacency.
Let's find a Diablo homeowner that is regularly renting out room through Air BnB, and see what that witch hunt would look like!

These poor people in Danville that have such a situation in their neighborhood, I cannot imagine! I've read about taxis dropping off and picking up all hours of the day and night. Strangers walking around the streets with backpacks who are staying in this BNB. I didn't even think about the lack of background checks. Sounds crazy to me.

I don't blame those parents who have young children not liking this scenario. Many of us have moved to these wonderful hamlets to raise families with a feeling a some security. To have such a homeowner conducting a short term rental especially at the seeming capacity. It appears that someone has taken the business model and and creating much unhappiness in their neighborhood, which I can certainly understand.
Short term rentals such as these should not be allowed. Thank you.

7 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Mr. Doyle, Mr. Arnerich, and other members of the Danville Town Council.

In reading these most recent comments and others that I've read in the past, there seems to be a serious issue with a homeowner abusing their homeowner's "rights" by renting out one or more (and a seemingly proposed several more) bedrooms (with an addition being built) that I cannot in any way see that being OK.

Whereas I don't have this situation in my neighborhood, I would be most unhappy if I did. I ask you to consider having this happen to you as well?

It's such a pleasure knowing who my neighbors are and how we "look out" for one another. I cannot imagine if one of my neighbors decided to run a Air Bed and Breakfast out of their home. Not what I signed up for and I would imagine that you all would feel the same.

It's easy to see a situation from afar and criticize people's concerns and feelings but once it happens close to home...literally.... everyone's tune would change.

I support the ban on these short term rentals since it has apparently been greatly abused.

6 people like this
Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Every property owner should be able to do what they want with their property.
If they create a nuisance, then apply the Nusiance Law to them.
If they don't create a nuisance, then let them do their thing with there property.....and you do your thing with your property.

If you want total absolute control over everything that you can see, then buy a mountain for yourself and live on it.
In other words, do what you want with your own land.

Quit ramming your views down other people's throats.

If these renters don't bother you, leave them alone.
If they do, call the police.

There are already enough laws on the books to cover all of the situations.
You could complain of exactly the same problems from long-term renters....and/or actual resident homeowners.

Some people rent rooms in their house in order to survive. Others do it because it is interesting.
There are a million reasons and a million different scenarios .

Identify the culprits. Leave the rest alone.

And for those of you with "thin-skins, over-idealistic notions of what rights you have regarding someone else's property, and deep paranoid fears of what could happen, the process of having to bring a legitimate nuisance suit should weed out those people with "unreasonable" expectations and requests.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment]

Like this comment
Posted by Danville Citizen
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Feb 17, 2016 at 8:18 am

Do homeowners CCandR's prohibit this?

4 people like this
Posted by Solomon
a resident of Danville
on Feb 17, 2016 at 9:10 am

I think whether the homeowner is present or not makes a huge difference to the efficacy of the complaints. Yuge! In my experience renting elsewhere via ABnB, the owners were present, and pleasant -- it was a great way to meet nice folks. and get a little 411 about the local area.

All the objections would be minimized by such a limitation, and the owner would be around to be complained-to in the exceptional chance that they weren't.

My first choice would be no regulation, but if the denizens are compelled to do SOMEthing, then why not this?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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