HumCo’s short-term rental ordinance meeting tomorrow in Garberville

A meeting to discuss a draft short-term rental ordinance heads to Southern Humboldt on Wednesday, Aug. 9th in Garberville.

Short-term rentals in Humboldt county currently outweigh the available housing in the area.

These properties, heavily promoted on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Vacasa, have been in the minds of long-term residents looking for housing.

In Humboldt County alone, there are more than a thousand short-term rentals.

But in the unincorporated part of the county – more than 700 of those are deemed “illegal.”

A new ordinance would require property owners to have a business license, an administrative permit, and an additional special permit, depending on the size of the rental.

And the amount of overall rentals could not exceed two percent of available housing in the area.

The county planning commission says it wants to encourage tourism without driving up the cost of housing for residents.

“Now, there are two that have stood out more than the rest in guiding the development of our draft and that is the prevention of the loss of housing stock and preserving neighborhood quality,” associate planner Keenan Hilton said in a June 28th meeting.

The tiered permit system would be based on location and size of the rental. One permit would be for residents who rent out a room in their home.

“We think that having a host on sites lowers the potential possibility of impacts and that having this permit pathway may be appropriate.”

The planning commission is holding two public hearings on the proposal.

Director of Planning and Building John Ford responded via email with quote “It has been a bit of an educational process for operators to realize they have invested in an activity that is not allowed. Surprisingly, we have not heard from the people who have been adversely affected by STRs in their neighborhoods.”

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