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County, City Leaders Look at Regulating Vacation Rentals

Thursday morning Butte County leaders are asking for input on a new ordinance they've drafted to set rules and permitting for short-term rentals.

Posted: May 10, 2018 5:16 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 6:23 AM

Butte County, Calif-- Butte County is working on ways to regulate vacation rentals, while the city of Chico is focusing on monetizing the businesses that as of now are going tax free.

On the outskirts of Chico, Paradise and Oroville there are about 120 of these vacation rentals spread throughout residential neighborhoods in un-incorporated areas of Butte County.

Outside of city limits, there's a transient occupancy tax that these landlords pay, but aside from that, there's no oversight - and concerned neighbors kept coming in to tell the county about noisy guests, too many cars parked on the street, even camping.

"The complaints that we do have tend to be chronic and an issue with the neighbors and so we went to our board and said we need to address this so we can strike the right balance between the neighors and those that want to pursue these businesses can operate under some standards," said Dan Breedon, Principal Planner for the county. 

So, the planning department's drafted an ordinance that rental owners would need to follow.

As it's written now, the ordinance would require home owners to apply for a permit before renting out on sites like "Air BnB' or VRBO.

Also off the table would be camping rentals and renting a house for a major event like a wedding.

The workshop's open to anyone - it's Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Supervisor's Chambers in Oroville  at 25 County Center Dr #205, Oroville, CA 95965.

Within Chico city limits, not everyone is on board with strange visitors and new people constantly coming and going without anything really on the books as far as oversight goes.

The city settled on a recent attempt to shut down a vacation rental that seemed to be disturbing the peace, mainly just because there are no rules in place.

It's also missed revenue for the city that would otherwise be collecting taxes if visitors stayed at hotels.

The city's decision to implement a transient occupancy tax - treating these rentals like hotels - is expected to bring in between $50,000 to $150,000 a year.

Chief Building Official Leo DePaola who says they're working on an ordinance now that would allow them to implement that new tax - and better regulate these businesses.

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