REGULATION ROUND UP: Santa Barbara Save the Short Term Rentals

admin 06/02/2017


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For many people within the short term rental community in Santa Barbara, renting out their home is part of how they make ends meet. The extra income oftentimes helps homeowners with mortgage payments, car payments, and many other everyday life expenses.

For managers of short term rentals, helping folks rent out their most valuable asset -- their home -- is a full time job. Vacation rental managers are also ambassadors for their cities pointing the thousands of traveling families and vacationers to other local small businesses and authentic hidden gems around town.

In Santa Barbara, there is an ordinance on the table that would effectively ban short term vacation rentals which would wipe out the small businesses that support the industry. If adopted, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors would be forcing hardship on the homeowners relying on the extra income and virtually pink slipping the 5,000+ jobs supported by the local vacation rental industry.

Furthermore, every business in the City of Santa Barbara would miss out on the $470 million dollars of economic impact that the short term vacation rental industry brings to town. Would everyone who was going to stay at a vacation rental head to the local Santa Barbara hotel/motel instead or look elsewhere for their travel plans?

So, what is the problem? Why would Santa Barbara want to shoot itself, it’s vacation rental homeowners, it’s workforce and it’s economy in the foot?

Theo Kracke, leader of Save The Rentals Santa Barbara, notes that the arguments made in support of the current legislation are founded on overstated nuisance issues and unsubstantiated claims of impact on long term housing. As a resident of Santa Barbara since 1981, Kracke pleads to his County officials, “Please do not take a ‘sledgehammer’ approach to address issues that can be easily managed through Fair Regulation.”


It’s important to keep in mind that Santa Barbara isn’t a city known for loud parties, nuisance issues, and the data makes this plainly obvious.


With just 82 nuisance reports over the course of a 10 year period, Santa Barbara communities produce an average of 7.9 nuisance complaints coming from STRs per year! Now, considering in 2015 the City of Santa Barbara had 1,193 STRs and an average of 7.9 nuisance reports per year, the number of nuisance reports per STR per year is 0.006. Obviously, not all nuisances are reported but the data is what it is. We think that Santa Barbara’s County Board of Supervisors owes the 5,000 people whose jobs they are effectively taking away a better explanation -- and facts.

As for the argument suggesting that STRs are taking away from the affordable housing within the city, the numbers just don’t support the myth! Within Santa Barbara there are 38,066 housing units and only 1,193 short term rentals, most of which are second homes. Is the County expecting that the ban will magically force everyone to throw their vacation home onto the long term rental market? With just 3.13% of the city’s total housing inventory even in the discussion, we think this needs some better examination -- and facts!

NoiseAware and Rent Responsibly, our advocacy group fighting for fair STR legislation, fully supports Save The Rentals Santa Barbara. We believe the Santa Barbara County’s legislation as currently proposed is misguided. We are fighting on behalf of the short term rental community as the debate in Santa Barbara impacts all of us. A ban in Santa Barbara threatens short term rentals everywhere.


Tuesday, June 6th at 9 am the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is discussing and voting on the future of Short Term Rentals in Santa Barbara County. The discussion centers around an Ordinance prepared by government officials last year that effectively BANS STRs! We need your help to ensure that this ordinance does not get passed!

Here are some ways you can help:

1. Sign the petition prepared by Save The Rentals Santa Barbara, which urges the County Board of Supervisors to not approve the STR Ordinance to ban all STRs!

2. Spread the word to others! Share our video, share the link to the petition, and begin to post all over social media as to why you believe in FAIR rental regulation!

For the over achievers:

3. Prepare an email and send it to the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors, CCing the Clerk of the Board, before Monday, June 5th. Tell your story and why you believe STRs should be both allowed and fairly regulated throughout Santa Barbara!


4. If you’re in or around Santa Barbara, attend the Board of Supervisors hearing on Tuesday, June 6th at 9 am!

If you wish to learn more about the situation in Santa Barbara and you’re looking for more ways to get involved in the discussion, click here.

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