In probably one of the absolute worst legal decisions the city of Santa Barbara has ever made, City Council on Tuesday, July 18th decided to vote 5-2 that “housing stock” was more important that an owners right to use their home in the allowed use zone as is protected and permitted by right.
These zones in Santa Barbara, C-1, C-2, R-4 and numerous others have always and will always have this legal right to rent for less than 30 days. Most of the Bed and Breakfasts and Hotels located on Bath, De La Vina, Downtown, East and West Beach are located on properties with these zoning designations…these homes are no different. For that matter, how many bakeries, law offices, vet clinics, restaurants occupy what used to be former “residences” and apartment buildings that ultimately have taken away housing stock? Do we just go after housing shortage for “certain” types of rentals?
Just one month ago, Santa Barbara city staff themselves ruled that another property located just 2 blocks from the one they denied last night made the finding that it WAS “in line with sound community planning” and did not affect the housing element. So is this selective enforcement? No my friends, what you have here is a POLITICAL AGENDA!
Cathy Murrillo is running for Mayor…I encourage you to not vote for her if you are a property owner that believes your property rights are valuable. Bendy White is running for Mayor…I encourage you to not vote for him if you believe the same. Jason Dominguez decided to take the opportunity to badger the property owner and both planners in an attempt to discredit them all. Greg Hart was as he always is, protecting the corporate Hotel lobby in our town. The only 2 that actually see the real glaring problem with this are Randy Rowse and Frank Hotchkiss.
Let’s not forget the Santa Barbara City Council told all these property owners in June of 2015 there was a process to get legally permitted in the legal zones. The process was to convert to a “hotel”! No owner wants to do this and it’s not the right process as there exists no definition of short term rental in the municipal code. None-the-less, these law abiding owners have spent thousands of dollars to comply. The city has taken their money, their time (2 years of it) and now they deny them based on a housing shortage? There is no process anymore. That was made crystal clear last night.
So where does this leave all responsible Santa Barbara second home purchasers that purchased homes in the “allowed use zones”, that went to the city before they closed escrow and made sure they were OK to proceed with short term rentals when they themselves were not occupying the home? I think I see damages here…. A housing shortage is not site specific. A housing shortage does not pop up overnight, it’s been well documented since the 1970’s. And guess what, we have more housing units being built in the pipeline in 2016-2018 then ever in the last 20 years in the city with the AUD and ADU programs. Santa Barbara City Council didn’t even follow City Staff’s recommendation to approve this project. Again, political agendas….
Like I said, only a judge will be able to rule on this one and I will tell you this, you can’t approve 6 and then decide this one in particular has a housing shortage.
*Please contact me or go to the people at the website listed below if you own a property in the legal allowed use zones. Many groups in town have multiple lawsuits at various stages and we can put you in touch with them immediately. These owners will prevail. Visit the website below as well…