Huntington Beach

STRs may find a home in city

A PROPOSED ORDINANCE regulating short-term rentals may be considered in Huntington Beach (Shutterstock).

The door could soon be open to licensing – and collecting tax revenue from – short-term rentals in Huntington Beach.

On Monday night the city council voted 6-0 (with Councilmember Patrick Brenden absent) in favor of directing staff to prepare an ordinance regulating rentals of residential property for less than 30 days.

Cities that receive a significant portion of their tax revenue from tourism – such as Anaheim, Garden Grove and Huntington Beach – have been generally hostile to STRs. Such businesses may take trade away from hotels and motels and do not generate transient occupancy tax (commonly known as “bed tax”) from their guests. In some cases, residents of single-family neighborhoods complain that STRs create problems with parking, traffic, noise and litter.

However, a study by the Lisa Wise Consulting of San Luis Obispo indicates there are over 800 such operations within city limits, mostly in the downtown and Sunset Beach areas of the city. The study also indicates that licensing and regulation of STRs could bring in $1,382,355.46 in annual tax revenue to Surf City.

The council voted to request that such an ordinance have a “high-threshold” of regulation and enforcement to meet concerns from homeowners and others.  Conditions could include:

  • on-site owners;
  • maximum and minimum days of stay;
  • a limit on the number of people per bedroom rented:
  • a cap on the number of STRs permitted;
  • the creation of “neighborhood zones” to keep STRs from concentrating in a given area.

Also Monday night, the council approved an acquisition and sale agreement with the Huntington Beach City School District for three portable buildings for use at the city’s Navigation Center on Beach Boulevard.

The next meeting of the council is Monday, Oct. 5.

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