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.
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