Danville's ban on Airbnb-type rentals takes effect

Ordinance set to be enforced on complaint basis

Danville's new town ordinance prohibiting short-term residential rentals, such as those offered through Airbnb, is set to take effect Friday.

The Town Council voted 4-1 March 1 to adopt a ban on residential rentals of 30 days or less within the town limits, scheduling the first-time rules to become official one month after approval as is typical, barring any legal objection.

"There have been no challenges, and no negative feedback," Danville city attorney Rob Ewing said Thursday, confirming the ordinance would take effect the next day. "As far as enforcement, we will handle it on a complaint basis as we do with all of our code enforcement efforts."

For people who violate the new local law, town officials would most likely pursue punishment through an administrative citation with a $100 fine, Ewing said, while also noting the town does have a range of potential options available to address violators under the town's municipal code.

The short-term rental ban debate drew dozens of residents to the Town Meeting Hall in February when the council held its first public hearing on the issue and ultimately voted to give initial support to the ordinance -- which was formally approved two weeks later in a required second vote.

The council majority argued that renting out residential-zoned properties for such short periods was inconsistent with town zoning rules, deeming the practice to be essentially commercial rental operations occurring within residential-only districts.

Councilman Robert Storer was the lone dissenting vote, contending the proposed ban was based more on emotion than fact and urging the town to take more time to research the issue.

The council heard from residents on both sides of the debate during the Feb. 16 hearing, with most in the audience in favor of the prohibition 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.

There were an average of 15 housing units in Danville (ranging from individual rooms to entire homes) listed on short-term rental sites, out of approximately 16,000 housing units in the town overall, town officials said in February.

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6 people like this
Posted by Westerner
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

Meanwhile, landlords rent to Section 8 renters long term and nobody worries about safety, vetting, or anything else.

Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

So Mr. Ewing says there have been no challenges or negative feedback? They just ignored the many people who objected to this ordinance at the Council meetings, choosing instead to pander to the supporters, because of a specific Danville location with neighborhood issues. Does that mean we have to bring another law suit against the Town if we don't like this, and they continue to make decisions based on the squeaky wheel? Myopic thinkers. Set aside the "Airbnb" issue for a minute. This ordinance should have been put to a vote of the citizens, as the Town, in passing this, has just usurped the property rights of homeowners, to rent their home, on their own terms, to whomever they want - for as long (or short) as they want. Bad decision, with little input from the public. Remember this, as three of the Councilmen/women are up for re-election in November.

2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2016 at 8:49 am

The issue isn't so much having an Airbnb rental next door/across the street/down the block. The real issue is how much government meddles in our lives at every level. Freedom shouldn't be feared - central control, now there's something to be feared. Surely there could have been some sensible regulations developed for this issue. If you want something to be really upset about that will impact "neighborhood safety, perceived shortcomings in the rental vetting process and protecting Danville's small-town feel" look into the Democrat-endorsed Association of Bay Area Government's unelected, vastly overcompensated bureaucrats who have their own ideas far beyond the annoyance of Airbnb. As in other Bay Area jurisdictions, they demand land set-asides for high-density housing -- in Danville's case, over 500 units now (with +50% of those for low-income and very low-income tenants), and another +500 units in the next few years. Here's your non-small-town, crime-intensive, neighborhood safety concern all in one high-density area. Just wait.....

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