Danville council set to confirm ban on Airbnb-type rentals

Purchasing former CDA properties, Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month also on tap

The Danville Town Council is set to consider giving final approval Tuesday to a proposed ordinance prohibiting all short-term residential rentals, such as those operated through Airbnb, within the town limits.

The council voted 4-1 on Feb. 16 to give initial support to the ban ordinance and advance the proposal for a final reading and adoption vote Tuesday night.

The council majority contended short-term rentals -- defined as 30 consecutive days or less -- were inconsistent with town zoning rules, deeming them to be essentially commercial rental operations occurring within residential-only districts.

Dozens of residents attended the council's public hearing on short-term rentals two weeks ago, with most in the audience in favor of the proposed ban but some others voicing support for Airbnb and similar operations.

Concerns raised by pro-ban residents included neighborhood safety, perceived shortcomings in the rental vetting process and protecting Danville's small-town feel.

Councilman Robert Storer cast the lone dissenting vote on Feb. 16, arguing the proposal was based more on emotion than fact and urging the town to take more time to research the issue.

The council members are set take their final stance on the proposed ordinance Tuesday night.

The ordinance adoption is listed among the council's five-item consent agenda -- a group of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once, although individual items can be pulled out for separate consideration. The council typically places the final adoption of a proposed ordinance on its consent agenda two weeks after approving the first reading of the ordinance.

If confirmed Tuesday, the ban on short-term residential rentals will take effect in 30 days. The regular council meeting is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St. in downtown Danville.

In other business

* The council will discuss a proposal that calls for the town to buy downtown property originally purchased by the town's now-dissolved Community Development Agency (CDA) and currently owned by the Successor Agency to the former CDA.

The Successor Agency, created in the wake of the state eliminating the redevelopment program, is tasked with managing the dissolution of the former CDA and winding down its obligations. The town elected to serve as the Successor Agency -- which is a separate government entity.

The CDA purchased the 0.34-acre site at 115-125 Hartz Ave., with a 6,030-square-foot building with four tenant spaces, for $2.6 million in 2011, just before Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan to dissolve redevelopment agencies statewide, like Danville's CDA.

Danville city attorney Rob Ewing said staff recommends the Successor Agency sell the site to the town, with the property's current fair-market value calculated at just over $2.9 million.

Ewing will also present a second purchase proposal Tuesday, recommending the Town Council approve of buying property at 341 Rose St. from the Successor Housing Agency to the former CDA.

The CDA bought the Rose Street site in September 2005 for $973,800 with low and moderate housing funds, intending to hold the property for potential aggregation with surrounding properties zoned for residential development, according to Ewing. Private housing projects never materialized, and the site is adjacent to property owned by the town where it's set to build a public parking lot.

So, town staff proposes the town buy 341 Rose St. for $973,800 and have the sale proceeds placed in the Successor Housing Agency fund as a cash asset available to assist with other affordable housing efforts as they arise, according to Ewing.

* The council will present a proclamation declaring March as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month.

* Council members will hear quarterly updates on transportation and Finance Committee topics.

* Before the regular meeting, the council will gather for a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. to continue discussions from its annual planning and goal-setting workshop earlier this month.

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