Danville residents hoping to list and rent their properties on a short-term basis through sites such as Airbnb and VRBO had those hopes dashed by a decision in Danville Tuesday night.
At a packed Town Council meeting, residents discussed both sides of the issue, citing safety, noise and traffic concerns as well as a perceived infringement on personal property rights.
There was no open mention of a recent situation in neighboring Orinda, where an Airbnb house was reportedly used as a party location for a group of young adults, one of whom ended up in critical condition with a head injury after a fight broke out.
In the end, the town council ended up banning rentals of less than 30 days by a 4 to 1 vote. There are currently just over a dozen short-term rentals available in Danville. After passage of Tuesday’s ordinance, their owners will no longer be able to offer them on a short-term rental basis.
Passage of the ordinance was met by an almost immediate response from Airbnb, which said: “Many cities in California are reviewing proposals to enable hosts to share their homes. We are continuing to highlight the importance of fair rules with leaders throughout California.”
Chris is on the right track. An outright ban is absurd and an infringement on property rights. A week is too long. I would say 3 night minimum should be sufficient to weed out those simply looking for a party rental.
I agree that an outright ban is pretty strict, but they’re erring on the side of caution. With extended stay motels that could easily fill their needs, I can’t help but wonder if these people renting really nice homes are just looking for a J. Geils house party. The situation in Orinda (even though it wasn’t mentioned in Danville) is a perfect example that Danville is making the right decision. If renting your property leads to a situation that might lead to the death of a young man, is it really worth it? These are people who are doing okay financially.
An outright ban is pretty tough. I wish there were a more narrowly-tailored remedy. Perhaps a minimum rental period of one week, a strict-liability fine for noise complaints called into cops and mandatory (and broad) third-party liability insurance would do it.
Renting a big suburban house on a nightly basis in areas near lots of reasonably priced motels/hotels is a bit suspect, IMHO— but there should be a path for owners to do weekly rentals for vacationing families (for example).
All of the tech disrupt companies are encountering roadblocks but it seems to me the handwriting is on the wall and people are looking for another way of doing business. Things are changing at an amazing rate when you stop and think about it. The next couple of years could be really interesting.
I’ll admit I never thought of the rent a party house approach. I can see it as a problem and if what people are saying here is true I guess it was.
Smart move — especially when you consider what happened in Orinda.