The odds are short-term rentals could soon be legal in Manteca.
A split City Council on Tuesday directed staff to devise an ordinance regulating Airbnb and other residential short-term rentals.
There are currently 40 plus short-term rentals on various booking sites in Manteca. Given there is no ordinance now on the books, such ventures aren’t currently legal but there are no rules in place that allows the city to go after them either.
Mayor Ben Cantu and Councilman Dave Breitenbucher favored outright banning the rentals.
Both the mayor and Breitenbucher agreed Manteca was becoming a destination for families given major youth soccer tournaments held throughout the year as well as softball tournaments at the Big League Dreams sports complex. But they believed Manteca would be better off trying to secure more hotels instead of allowing the disruption of residential areas where homes are used as a part-time business to cater to the traveling public.
“Mark my words,” Cantu said. “It is going to be a code enforcement nightmare.”
The rest of the council took the position Airbnb and other short term rentals defined as a house or portions of a house being rented out for 30 days or less are here to stay. That said they want rules in place that restrict the use of homes as short term rentals to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods.
It is clear that the council is leaning toward an ordinance that will ban the use of such rentals for anything other than a place to stay. Uses the council appears to be on track to ultimately ban in an ordinance when it is brought back for their consideration include the use of houses for parties, wedding receptions, reunions and similar gatherings.
There was majority support to not only require the people renting their homes to collect the 12 percent transit occupancy tax and turn it over to the city but to also apply an add on fee to cover the cost of monitoring short-term rentals.
Oversight could be done by an outside firm contracted by the city with those add on fees footing the bill.
Other restrictions council indicted they’d like staff to present to them to consider included:
*banning rentals to anyone under the age of 25.
*capping the number of people that can stay in a house at one time.
*outside noise restrictions that could run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
*the house must be the primary residence of whoever is renting it out.
*limiting the number of days a year that a house can be rented.
*prohibiting the clustering of short-term rentals.
Starting Jan. 1, 2022 state law allows cities putting short term rental ordnances in place to have fines of $1,500 for the first offense, $3,000 for the second offense within a calendar year, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses within the first year of a violation.
That means unlike with other zoning code violations that the state caps the ability of cities to assess fees for people who violate them, any ordinance the city adopts could have real teeth if the city moves to enforce it.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com