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New Regulations for Short Term Rentals

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:01 am

On Tuesday, Nov. 5 the Board of Supervisors met at the County Administrative Office in downtown San Bernardino to discuss several itemized issues pertinent to citizens living in the nation’s largest county.

At approximately 10 a.m., supervisors visited item #43 on the discussion calendar regarding an ordinance amending Title 8 of the County Code, which relates to short-term residential rentals (STR) and accessory dwelling units (ADU).


Tightening Up On Occupancies

The revised ordinance contains a special focus on cracking down on “party houses,” addressing issues concerned with street parking and fire safety. It also looks at revising the language which currently only permits property owners to list their primary residence as an STR or the guest house on their property as an STR, but not both.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance on Nov 5, which means it will be ratified at the next meeting on Nov 19 and will go into effect in 30 days from that date. The discussed changes in language will be adopted before December.

The language change comes in the form of regulating ADU. As it currently stands, you cannot list both your house and guest house as short term rentals. However, as of Nov. 5, the language around STRs and ADUs has changed. Now, there will be a minimum acreage requirement to allow primary residence and ADU to both be listed as STRs. The minimum acreage required to list both your primary residence and your ADU as an STR is two acres. This means that if you own two or more acres of property, and you have a primary residence and a guest house on that property, you can list both units as short term rentals.

Aother change in language helps ensure all STR residences have their STR permit and a fire evacuation map of the residence posted next to the front door for inspection by Code Enforcement.


Enforcing the new rules

These new ordinances should allow Code Enforcement to crack down on noncompliant STR owners. This, and tightening noise standards – found in other county legislature – should help put an end to owners of STRs listing ‘party houses’ on short term rental sites like Airbnb.

Additionally, the ordinance was written with mountain communities in mind so that anyone attempting to list their property as an STR must have parking for the tenants they are renting to, rather than tell renters to park on the street. It is also up to the owner of the STR property to collect information on their renters’ vehicles and to let renters know how to find the place they’re renting so they don’t end up parking where they aren’t supposed to. This will hopefully prevent streets from being blocked and snowplow service from being interrupted during the winter.

John Narrano, an Arrowhead Woods resident, lives on an access road called Walnut Hills Drive. He said the road is 27 feet wide, curb-to-curb, when it meets the main road, but it narrows down to just 10 feet wide near his home.

“Were access roads in any way considered, other than wide long stretches of regular road?” Narrano asked during the public comment section of the meeting. “Because the road I live on is not maintained in any way by the county. It’s not paved, they won’t plow our road, they won’t remove debris from our road, and it’s very, very, windy. On average, it’s only 12 feet wide. When it snows, it’s very bad, and there’s nowhere to park other than on-site [at a residence]. I don’t live on a dead end, but I’ve been snowed-in in the middle of that road because short term renters were blocking me on both ends. I have seen trash trucks not get by. I have seen UPS delivery trucks not get by. God forbid there’s a fire.”

To remedy situations like Narrano’s, a 24-hour hotline dedicated to STRs in the mountain region which has  been in place for years has been given more support with the new STR regulations. With funding for Code Enforcement to now work weekends, mountain residents will be able to report violations on the nights when they need it the most. Violations reported to Code Enforcement may involve a suspension of the residence’s STR permit, with multiple suspensions invoking a revocation of the permit altogether. This means that if you rent out your STR property to guests who are caught parking in the street and Code Enforcement has to be called, you can potentially lose your STR permit. Also, under the new guidelines, once an STR permit is revoked the appeal costs twice as much as the actual permit itself.

The new Code Enforcement hotline will give you the name of the agent or owner of a property and allow you to file a complaint. It will also let you know if a property has been suspended as an STR location. Calling the number to make a complaint will summon a member of the team of dedicated Code Enforcement officers whose full-time job is to make inspections and report on incidents for this program.

STR sites are normally only inspected by Code Enforcement as a part of the STR application process and upon renewal of the STR permit every other year. However, if a complaint is filed against an STR property, then Code Enforcement will be brought in to inspect it under the new rules.

If you are a mountain resident who would like to file a complaint about a Short Term Rental in violation of the new ordinances, the number for the Mountain Region Short Term Residential Rental 24/7 Complaint Line is: (888) 399-8591.


ALA Proposed Bylaw Amendments for STRs

1. Members (as identified in these Bylaws, rules, regulations or other governing documents of the Association) but their respective rights and privileges shall be as identified in written agreements with the Association as approved by the Board of Directors from time to time. Commercial Memberships shall have no voting rights, inspection rights and/or rights to communicate to the Residential Members (which rights are solely granted to Residential Members) and, furthermore, shall have no right to notice of and/or attend Residential Membership and/or Board of Directors meetings. 

2. Members in Good Standing.

A “member in good standing” shall mean a member who is current in the payment of all dues and fees (including late charges and interest) and fines levied against the member and/or membership and not be subject to any suspension of membership privileges or Special Use Privileges (as defined below) as a result of any disciplinary proceeding conducted in accordance with these Bylaws or any rule, regulation or other governing document of the Association.  

Only members in good standing, the members of their households and their invited guests shall be eligible to use the private facilities of the Association for which they qualify.

The legal owner or owners of a residential lot/unit or residential lots/units in Arrowhead Woods who are “Members in Good Standing” shall be entitled to one vote for each Residential Membership (with co-owners of a residential lot/unit deemed to be one member for voting purposes) in all matters concerning the Association on which such members are entitled to vote. Each Residential Membership shall be carried on the records of the Association in the name of the legal owner or owners of the residential lot/unit or residential lots/units from which such Residential Membership arises (“Residential Member” or “Residential Membership”).

SECTION B.  Membership

The members of the Association shall be owners of residential property in Arrowhead Woods who apply for Residential Membership in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Board.  Residential Members in good standing may apply for and receive Special Use Privileges in categories as may be determined from time to time by the Board. Except for the Commercial Properties, membership shall not be granted to owners of non-residential lots within Arrowhead Woods.

Only the record owners of residential lots/units within Arrowhead Woods as vested in the County Recorders office in San Bernardino County, California, shall be entitled to ALA Residential Membership and the Special Use Privileges related thereto. The term “Special Use Privileges” shall mean and include, but not be limited to slips, slip rights, pier site easements, licenses, boating privileges, lake privileges and any other rights of possession or use of ALA property. Commercial Properties are entitled to Special Use Privileges but only pursuant to written agreements with the Association as approved by the Board of Directors from time to time.

This Bylaw will become

effective on January 6, 2020

For the purpose of this Bylaw the term Short Term Rental (“STR”) means a rental of less than 30 days at a time.

The Arrowhead Lake Association (“ALA”) prohibits STRs from accessing or using any dock, pier site, the ALA walking trails, the ALA parks, or the ALA Beach Clubs. STRs cannot receive ALA boat operator licenses, use kayaks, paddleboards, boats, sail, fish or swim in Lake Arrowhead or Grass Valley Lake.

Any ALA member who is renting a home in Arrowhead Woods as an STR shall be subject to discipline by ALA if any STR renter violates any of the provisions of this Bylaw or other ALA Bylaws.

Any ALA member who rents to STRs must register with ALA on an annual basis.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Lynn W. posted at 4:30 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2019.

    Lynn W. Posts: 0

    We have not heard of any complaints about STR guests using the beaches and walk-ways. We are wondering how this new policy of not allowing STR guests to use these facilities will affect the tourism business in Lake Arrowhead. One of the main features, for instance, of staying at the Lake Arrowhead Resort is to swim in the lake, take guided kayaking tours, water skiing etc. Why would folks bother staying there if they can't walk into the water from the beach there?

    If businesses have fewer customers, then maybe they won't survive. If they don't survive, then there will be less for residents to do, both full time residents and part-time residents. I am not sure of the stats but we understand that many of the homes in Lake Arrowhead remain vacant much of the time even with STRs succeeding.

    Furthermore, folks who can only afford a second home by renting it out to STRs when they are not there, may find their properties falling into disrepair. Or they might be forced to sell the property. If a number of homes all come on the market when folks can no longer afford them, property prices may drop. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except for the folks trying to sell their property.

    All in all this seems rather short-sighted. How much commentary did the ALA invite from the community for implementing this new policy?