After a dozen years, Sonoma County supervisors are nonetheless figuring out the principles for trip leases.

Don’t choose them too harshly. It isn’t simple discovering a candy spot on this contentious problem. For some folks, trip leases are a welcome supply of earnings or a nice strategy to discover new locations. For others, they’re a nuisance, particularly if company monopolize parking or host noisy events into the wee hours.

There’s a lot to love in the newest proposal, which is on the board’s Tuesday agenda.

Suggestions from the Planning Fee would tighten the principles for parking, noise and trash, require annual licensing, cap the variety of company, restrict the variety of trip leases in some closely impacted areas and ban them fully in low-density neighborhoods. The proposed guidelines cowl unincorporated areas, besides the coastal zone, which is regulated individually.

The foundations would apply to houses rented for as much as 30 days by particular person homeowners, administration corporations and on-line platforms equivalent to Airbnb and VRBO.

Not everybody goes to be joyful about ratcheting up the restrictions on trip leases. However right here’s a twist you may not have anticipated: Among the many critics are some longtime Sonoma County property managers who say the proposed guidelines don’t go far sufficient.

The property managers assist the framework however say the principles ought to apply retroactively, and violators ought to be topic to stiff fines. Below the county proposal, current leases can be exempt from a number of the new requirements, probably together with a restrict on further daytime company, till they’re offered.

Liza Graves, a neighborhood property supervisor who’s president of the Sonoma County Hospitality Affiliation, mentioned the county wants instruments to crack down on current issues that alienate neighbors and taint the popularity of all trip leases.

“Trimming the tree cover just isn’t getting on the root of the issue,” Graves advised the editorial board.

To counter any reservations about making use of new guidelines to current leases, the property managers cite a Sonoma County ordinance governing industrial kennels that retroactively imposed an annual licensing requirement and approved county officers to impose circumstances to guard public well being, security and welfare.

“Requiring current and new trip leases to fulfill the identical new requirements promotes ease of enforcement, a constant regulatory method and eliminates public confusion about what commonplace traditionally problematic trip leases should meet,” a lawyer for the rental managers wrote in a letter to the supervisors.

In addition they urged the supervisors to amend the county code to allow steeper fines for repeat violations now allowed by state legislation.

We aren’t attorneys, however that is sensible to us. The supervisors shouldn’t exempt 1,000 or extra current trip rental operators if, in truth, they’ve the authority to require everybody to observe the identical guidelines. And a stick — steep fines and even license revocation — would encourage compliance.

Tourism pumps about $2 billion a 12 months into Sonoma County’s financial system, supporting 1000’s of jobs and companies. Trip leases have been a well-liked lodging possibility right here for many years — lengthy earlier than web platforms like VRBO got here alongside. Like lodges and bed-and-breakfast inns, they generate transient occupancy tax {dollars} that assist pay for native providers. However native authorities should be certain that trip leases are good neighbors.

The supervisors meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on the county administration constructing in Santa Rosa and on-line at

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