Will Anaheim City Council Kill Off Short-Term Rentals?

The Anaheim City Council is holding a special meeting this evening, called by Mayor Tom Tait to consider ordinances that, in essence, would ultimately largely kill off short-term rentals (STRs) in Anaheim.

Sharing economy innovations such as Airbnb and VRBO have empowered individuals to tap what had been a latent asset – their homes – in order to earn additional revenue. It has sparked a new industry of purchasing homes to list on these websites. Hundreds have popped up during the last couple of years in the older neighborhoods around Disneyland – 1950s and 1960s residential tracts, with their ranch-style homes and swimming pools – make them particularly attractive.

STRs have been a permitted use in Anaheim by action of the city since May of 2014, allowed by zoning and governed by ordinance (although a temporary moratorium was enacted in September of 2015). Unfortunately, rapidity with which STRs have grown around the Resort District has caught everyone off guard; provision wasn’t made to prevent the over-concentration of STRs in neighborhoods, and a number of residents have been organizing and agitating for a total ban. They have allied themselves with the militant UNITE-HERE hotel workers union, which opposes STRs in part because the owners don’t use unionized housekeepers, i.e. UNITE-HERE members.

Mayor Tait has been the driving force for banning these businesses, and requested the agendizing of two ordinances. The first imposes a de facto cap on the number of STRs allowed in Anaheim, along with stiffer penalties and a host of additional regulations. The onerous nature of these new requirements – installation of sprinkler system if more than 10 people can stay in an STR, installing exterior doors on every bedroom — are clearly intended to choke STRs to death.

Read the rest of the article on OC Daily.

29 comments

  1. Thank you Mayor Tait, along with James Vanderbilt and Jordan Brandeman for taking action on this matter.
    Ownership rights are important and freedom of choice is preferred, however the reality of what we have experienced has been so negative that help from the city was needed. The rights of neighbors must be respected just as much as the individual home owner that wants to make a buck.

    • Hi Billy! If your “Union Boss” Tom Tait had taken action in eliminating murderous gatffiti vandals and gangbangers then maybe 9 year old GreenAcre Girl Ximena Meza, Boy Scout Leader Dave Douglas and many other innocent victims would be alive today.

      • Jimmy,
        I have never known you to be so concerned with the plight of the little brown children. Exactly what action should have mayor Taken? Of course you understand he is only one vote on the city council so I’m sure you will be able sight specifc time where he voted in the majority to protect gang bangers and graffiti artists. Of course you will not be able to, but it much more simple to make broad comments… And you are clearly simple minded… Make America Great Again!!!! Aka bring back segregation, bring back internment camps, bring back child labor, eliminate care for the elderly…Sad that so many otherwise good people fall for this crap

        • Hi Billy Boy! Most of my friends are Mexican, Mexican American and Guatemalen. I donated over $100,000 in furniture to the Eli Home for Abused Children and my Mexican friends and I are primarily responsible for the removal of your top street-gang leaders in Anaheim. Of course, we could not have done it with Chief Welter and the Law Enforcement. So your “Brown” comment will not stick. Mayor Tait is a gangbanger sympathizer and has provided the public with no strategy to eliminate the remaining street-gang members. I confronted gangbanger dug dealers at Little People’s Park and personally handed cease and desist orders to gangbangers at Anaheim High School. I am responsible for many other gangbangers being removed from Anaheim. Mayor Tait did nothing. Tait banned STR’s and when is he going to ban MGV’s (Murderous Graffiti Vandals???

        • Oops! In my last reply I Meant to say we could not have done that without Chief Welter and Law Enforcement! Thanks to Anaheim’s Law Enforcement Professionals Anaheim is much safer today! Chief Welter is incredible!!!

    • Yes, Mayor Tait didn’t WANT to destroy all those businesses and livelihoods, but he had to placate the mob rather than solve the problem in order to exploit this issue on behalf of his chosen council candidates. Tait’s need for a council majority is more important than other people’s need to make a living. The Dalai Lama must be soooo proud!

      • You make zero sense. What did he do to placate the “mob”? By standing in the way of the biggest form of public welfare to some of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the world, Mayor Tait is helping the smaller business compete on an even playing field. He has been great for business in general, just unwilling to play insider game with Pringle and Mickey. It’s really astonishing that anyone with half a brain could come to such ridiculous conclusions

        • YOU are the one making zero sense and you are a Taitbot. But I repeat myself. Sounds like you got your Cult of Tait talking points mixed up. We’re talking about STRs, remember?

          And yeah, Mayor Tait is such a believer in helping small businesses that he just voted to close down almost 400 small businesses in one fell swoop.

          Face facts, “Bill.” His time as mayor has been one repudiation after another of the record and positions upon which his long-time supporters had urged him to run for mayor. Tait is so consumed with trying to get his own personal council majority that he will do anything, say anything and ally himself with anyone. Claiming Tait has any principle he will not sell out to achieve that end is delusional.

      • Face facts Anaheimster-
        You called it right. They are “businesses” in residential zones that create a nuisance. Are you familiar with those terms: businesses, residential, nuisance.
        Residents supported SOAR’s request to keep residential out of business areas. Now the reverse has been supported.
        People do not seem to realize that the properties do not go “poof” into the night. They will still be there – vacant for long term renters to call home. All of the cleaners, pool people, gardeners who were there on Wednesday will still have pools to clean, lawns to mow and houses to clean.
        The residents of Anaheim are entitled to the residential areas that they live in. There are no nuisance businesses allowed.
        As far as ownership goes- I did some research on something I heard on Wednesday and it is true that one third of the houses are owned by 10 people- one guy owns more than 30 properties. The OC Register profiiled 2 guys who bought 16 homes in less than 4 years. I hardly think small businesses are being put out of business.

        • Charlotte Seidnematollah

          THANK YOU!! Shawn. You are spot on. I have a ten bedroom str motel business behind my home that has been a screaming nightmare . These owners are so full of crap. They act like they are doing Anaheim residents a favor. They don’t give a crap about what they have done to our neighborhoods. It is all about the killing they are making. They have been vampires sucking our blood. Praise to three council members for caring anout the residents of Anaheim. I thanks them for caring about us. And thank you for your comments.

        • Then wouldn’t prudence dictate targeting the nuisance businesses, rather than shutting down the many good actors who are good neighbors?

          • When you bring up the good apple bad apple logic it makes me laugh- so thank you for that.
            The issue is that the bad apples are the ones profiled in the OC Register, the man who owns 30 businesses, the board of the ARA, etc.
            It has nothing to do with success- it has to do with running a responsible business which many of the STR owners refuse to do. They never meet the occupants, never verify the occupancy, do not go over the rules face to face, do not show approved parking face to face. It’s about making as much money as possible with as little effort as possible. They can’t even get the trash cans in off the street in a timely manner.
            I think it would be interesting for the city council to only renew permits in July if the house/owner has received no documented complaints, fines, police calls etc. within the last 6 months. That should halve the number of permitted STRs right off the bat. I think I’ll send an email now to council with that idea.

        • “As far as ownership goes- I did some research on something I heard on Wednesday and it is true that one third of the houses are owned by 10 people- one guy owns more than 30 properties.”

          Well, God knows, hard work and success cannot be tolerated! Of course he should be shut down!

          • Word. So much anti-free-market-anti-capitalism animosity. The irony is, Folks that are pissed about the guy whose making 2 million dollars a year renting his 30 houses are actually doing the bidding of the Hotel corporations making hundreds of millions a year. Its like when rioters burn down their own neighborhoods… People always attack the devil they see… instead of the real devil.

        • MGV’s (Murderous Graffiti Vandals) should be a priority concern and not STR’s that increase property values with upgrades. STR’s should not be banned but there should be rules governing them. STR’s will return to Anaheim…

  2. My Union is much more supportive of Kring and Murry because Tait is fringe to mess with our pension system. I personally support him but not my Union.

  3. Matthew Cunningham, you are clueless, so clueless in fact that you shouldn’t be writing for The Register, a newspaper that I delivered for years as a kid. Don’t slander the good hard working people at Unite Here. They are the backbone of the tourist industry and do a fantastic job. The residents of Anaheim are tired of having a hotel with revolving doors next door to their house. Every 3 days, there are new people coming to these hotel businesses, some coming in LOUDLY as late as 2 and 3am. Honking horns at 6 and 7 am in the morning to rush the family out of the house. Kids running up and down the stairs for hours a day in adjoined townhouses. Pool being overrun by lodgers, many that are drunk. I work nights and that is unacceptable, so unless you live in our shoes, you have NO first hand knowledge or experience to write this article.

    Thank You Mayor Tait and Councilmen Brandman and Vanderbilt for supporting the voices of the residents. You realized that your planning department made a HUGE error telling these unscrupulous opportunists that people can rent their properties out for less than 30 days and didn’t see anything wrong with someone staying for a minimum of 3 days. In the beginning, your planning department didn’t realize that these people needed a business license to operate. They didn’t realize now that this business license was mandatory, that it is now a business operating in a residential neighborhood paying TOT taxes. Yes THIS IS A BUSINESS. You realized that the city planning department made a mistake and you corrected that mistake. Again, ThankYou!! Every complaint is valid, every violation happens. They are not “made up”, “stretched” as some have said, and the STR operators are lying all the way to the bank.
    Matthew, did the ARA pay you to write this drivel? Did they try to BS you with how good they are for the city? Did they tell you how they made our property values go up? Our property values went up because they were DUMB enough to pay 125% of the current property value to exploit an opportunity.
    Kring and Murray, thanks for not standing up for your constituents, I suggest you update your bloated resumes.

    • “Matthew Cunningham, you are clueless, so clueless in fact that you shouldn’t be writing for The Register, a newspaper that I delivered for years as a kid.”

      Mr. Lowe, you call me so “clueless” that I “shouldn’t be writing for the Register” and yet failed to notice this is NOT the Register. It is OC Daily. It says so very clearly on the masthead.

      And no, the ARA hasn’t paid me anything (I realize one of the Orange Juice bloggers is spreading that rumor – which is par for the course). In fact, I have no relationship with the ARA, and have no interaction with it. Sorry – you’ll have to stick to facts.

    • Don’t be anti-STR! Make new friends! Cater food to them! Make a few bucks yourself!

  4. Special interest groups are upset because the majority of the Anaheim City Council sided with the people instead of the gold. Corporate greed has no limits. Destroying our neighborhoods and our quality of life is somehow justified by the greed that fuels short-term rental owners. The government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Our Constitution lives in Anaheim. This city is a great place to live and raise my family. I’m a proud Anaheim resident.

    • “Special interest groups are upset because the majority of the Anaheim City Council sided with the people instead of the gold.”

      Which special interests would those be, Mr. Cornejo? The militant UNITE-HERE union was on your side. The hotel industry was one your side.

  5. I am so happy a total ban on STRs are in place. Now our neighbors can look forward to peace and quiet- not being waken up in the middle of the night by music, loud talking etc. The STRs renters were very inconsiderate towards their neighbors- GOOD RIDDANCE!!! Get a hotel next time- that’s why they exist- try doing the same thing/noise etc and see how long you last!
    Thanks you Mayor and council people (except Kringle) for listening to your community and supporting a family environment.

  6. The problem is that these businesses draw a lot of traffic into the neighborhoods and a lot of people. We showed the council pictures of many homes with 5 or more bedrooms. And reviews that proclaim that it was so comfortable for their family of 34. Isn’t that just crazy in a neighborhood changing every few days? Almost everyone involved on each side said to me in private “I wouldn’t want one next to me”.
    Sharing economy? Most are owned by corporations and many have up to 30 homes. Quoted in the paper was Michael Connelly he has 16 homes equal to $11 mil. In comparison to the sharing economy that is like one individual owning 550 Uber cars.
    He keeps them in his 3 story parking garage in his back yard (property rights).
    I think the whole thing is crazy. My friends that live next to them cry to me on the phone about the 6 vans that just pulled up to the STR next door. The city council has seen hundreds of pictures and even videos of the parties. One owner Sam Olson has 25 police calls on his homes in a 6 month period. These documents were presented to the city council. What a waste of police time.
    As far as the Fire safety features – when you have 11 kids in one room (shown to the council in an online review) or 34 people in a home, tragedy is not far away. These are things learned from history and that is why the features are required in Hotel/Motels.
    The economics are easy – 500 STRs listed on Home Away. 5,000 people 80% occupancy is 4,000 people average. At least 800 hotel rooms at $25 TOT per day or $7 million instead of the $2.7 million we get from the STRs minus the cost of enforcement of $200,000. Just a pen and paper and it is easy to figure out. By the way… Anaheim residents paid with our tax dollars to help develop the resort industry and then vacationers stay in our neighborhoods?

    • Again, Mr. King – ban proponents would have the public buy into a false dichotomy: the choice is either an STR ban or consign residents to a living hell. That isn’t supported by the evidence.

  7. O- I so wish you could live next to one his weekend. The hell has already started. See, these people are on vacation while I have to get up at 4 to go to work. So I should have already been asleep long ago. Waiting on code now because, after all, why should they have to follow any rules because they are on vacation.They should be staying in hotels where there are posted pool rules and security to enforce it. Instead, this owner lives in China.

    • Time for some corrective action.

      Pick a name and stick with. What’s the point of pretending to be Shawn Nelson. This is to put you on notice that I am going to change all the “Shawn Nelson” comments to “Danny” – which is the name you use most frequently. Your parents’ comments will be left as is.

  8. I want them regulated, not banned. How does anyone know if what you’re saying is true? You could be making up your name, your circumstances.

  9. I would have preferred to have the STR’s better regulated. However, I’m supportive of a total ban if the city can’t effectively regulate these enterprises.

    I can somewhat empathize with the residents of the resort area neighborhoods that are inundated with STR’s. I had a bad neighbor experience for several years. My neighbor had a very large family and sublet his living room and garage to two other families. The house had 11 cars and there was round the clock activity and noise. Fortunately, that family left and a nice retired couple purchased the home.

    I would hate to live in a neighborhood where multiple homes create bad neighbor experiences for everyone else. I learned from former planning commissioner and current District 5 Council Candidate Steve Faessel that half of the homes are STR’s in one neighborhood. STR’s take up a quarter of the homes in another. The risk is too great for bad neighbor experiences in those two neighborhoods.

    One thing to keep in mind is that ‘Apps’ like AirBnB also make money off of STR rentals. They then seem to place the onus for abiding with local regulations and minimizing negative impact on other homes solely on the STR Lessor. If the STR is an illegal operation and/or creates a horrible neighborhood experience, then AirBnB (and others) still generates rental revenue.

    The easiest way to shut down an illegal or irresponsibly operated STR is to have the App delist the address. This brings immediate relief for the neighborhood. Local governments can then decide what actions to take against the STR Lessor.

    My experience as a database consultant tells me that the STR App Businesses can create interfaces that allow local governments to quickly delist offending STR’s. Such interfaces are not that difficult to create with existing software technology.

    If the STR App Businesses don’t want to share the responsibility of ensuring that local regulations are met and negative neighborhood impact is minimized, then they don’t deserve to earn a dime of revenue.

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