Newport Beach changes short-term rental rules after Coast Commission comments – Orange County Register

Newport Beach continues to change its short-term rental rules after comments from the California Coastal Commission suggested changes to restrictions put in place last year.

The city, like many popular tourist destinations, is trying to strike the right balance between welcoming visitors to homes and neighborhoods and residents who say the transient nature of short-term rentals leads to a host of issues such as the loud noise and parties and parking problems. .

The coastal city has discussed and implemented changes to its short-term rental policies over the past two years, in 2020 putting in place several restrictions such as requiring a three-night minimum stay, forcing renters to be at least 25 years old. and implementing greater liability for landlords, including requiring a “nuisance response plan” and imposing heavy fines if tenants get parking tickets.

The city council then capped the number of short-term rental permits that would be approved in Newport Beach at 1,550 and created a waiting list for the rest. A complaints hotline has been set up and the number of people who can stay in a rental has been limited. Steps have been taken so the city can identify licensed property rentals and weed out illegal operators.

The California Coastal Commission approved most of the city’s changes, but came back with a few changes such as relaxing the number of nights required to two from three.

The city’s short-term accommodation laws date back to 1992, long before popular online sites such as Airbnb and VRBO led to a worldwide market explosion.

Newport Beach is one of Southern California’s cities with the most short-term rentals — defined by the city as an occupied lodging unit for less than 30 consecutive days.

According to previous reports, short-term rentals typically generate about $4 million in annual tax revenue for the city.

Jaime Murillo, senior planner with the city’s community development department, made a presentation to city council this week about ongoing issues and the city’s actions over the past year.

The city currently has 1,581 permits issued for short-term rentals and is still working on a final batch of applications that could increase that number. But as some rentals are taken off the market, the number of active permits will drop below the new cap of 1,550, after which the city will pull itself off a waiting list.

The Coast Commission felt that requiring a three-night stay could negatively impact low-to-moderate income families looking for accommodation on the coast, Murillo said, so it was suggested that the city sets the minimum to two nights.

Commissioners were also concerned about losing housing to short-term rentals, so a limit was suggested on the number of apartments that could have permits, with only 20% allowed. In a building with five units, for example, only one would be allowed to be converted.

There have also been discussions about restrictions specific to Newport Island, a small community that has felt the effects of short-term rentals. On the island, only 20 permits would be allowed and there would be a cap on the number of people who could stay in accommodation overnight, as well as during the day.

In addition, the owners must live on site and manage the property.

Longtime Newport Island resident Mark Markos, who has been expressing concerns about the impacts on the tight-knit community for years, said he “finally felt like there was light in the end of the tunnel,” urging the city to implement the changes “to preserve the future of this beautiful island, people and families.”

Another longtime resident spoke of the challenges of having so many tourists – many of whom come in large groups to party – filtering onto the small island.

“Over the past few years, short-term rentals have disrupted the peace and quiet of our neighborhood,” he said. “We personally, along with other residents, were woken up in the middle of the night partying, screaming, fighting.”

But one landlord has questioned whether long-time residents should be given priority for a short-term rental permit over investors or new owners coming in and converting homes, after he started remodeling his property only to find that the authorized license quota had already been filled.

Councilor Diane Dixon said she was “pleasantly surprised” with the Coast Commission’s approval of the town plans, and she was particularly interested in the discussion of coastal housing impacted by short-term rentals.

In her district, which includes the Balboa Peninsula, the resident population has declined by 10% in recent years, she said.

“The Coastal Commission sees the impacts of short-term accommodation on permanent residences,” she said.

City Council backed the changes 5-2, with Councilors Kevin Muldoon and Noah Blom opposing, but will need to take a second final vote – scheduled for December 14 – before the changes officially take effect on January 13.

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