The San Ramon Planning Commission is set Tuesday to continue the citywide conversation on how to tax and regulate short-term rental properties, such as those offered through Airbnb and VRBO.
The City Council has been pondering the potential taxation and regulation of short-term rentals in San Ramon for several months. The Planning Commission has been tasked with creating a strategy on how to make this happen and is set to receive and review a drafted strategy -- created by the city's Policy Committee -- on how to best achieve these goals.
According to a staff report by planning division manager Lauren Barr, drafted policies dictate the primary goals and purposes of proposed regulations. These include:
* Acknowledge that short-term rentals exist in the city and are largely unregulated.
* Create a census of the number of properties functioning as short-term rentals.
* Create a database of that census with property owner/operator contact information to address code complaints or neighborhood concerns.
* Create a mechanism to enforce rental standards.
* Provide a way to tax short-term rentals in a way that is similar to current standards for hotels and other commercial lodging.
Short-term rentals offer visitors to the city or out-of-area commuters the opportunity to rent a furnished home or apartment to stay in for a limited amount of time, typically days at a time. This is done in a way that is similar to a visitor renting a hotel room, but usually the owner lives in the rented property when they are not renting it out.
The lack of regulations of short-term rentals make it difficult for law enforcement to address neighborhood complaints against properties, city officials said. Common complaints revolve around noise, parking, trash or strange people coming and going through the neighborhood.
Taxation is an additional issue the Planning Commission will hope to address. Currently San Ramon does not tax short-term rentals, which not only results in a loss of potential revenue for the city, but creates a potentially unfair competitive advantage over hotels, which are taxed, city officials said.
San Ramon can also choose to ban short-term rental’s from the city all together, but initial drafted policies indicate an interest in taxation and regulation over prohibition.
The Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting Tuesday evening 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.
In other business
* Commission members are also set to review their liaison assignments for the 2018/2019 operations year. The review will cover the dates commission and board members will meet, who the liaison are and the city staff members who will meet with them.