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(A) Purpose. This subsection establishes regulations to allow for short-term vacation rentals within residential zoning districts. These regulations are intended to:
(1) Minimize adverse impacts that could result from vacation rental uses in residential neighborhoods;
(2) Ensure that vacation rentals do not significantly impact the supply of permanent housing available to Eureka residents;
(3) Provide opportunities for homeowners to generate supplemental income by renting individual rooms or entire residential units to visitors;
(4) Provide visitors with a range of lodging options to support the local tourism economy; and
(5) Ensure the city is able to collect transient occupancy taxes (TOT) and other taxes as required by city ordinances.
(1) This subsection applies to dwelling units, or portions thereof, located in a residential zoning district that are rented to transient patrons for 30 consecutive days or less.
(2) This subsection does not apply to lodging uses in a residential unit in a mixed-use or other non-residential zoning district. All lodging uses outside of a residential zoning district are regulated as a commercial lodging use, regardless of whether the lodging use occupies or replaces an existing residential or commercial use.
(C) Types of vacation rentals. This subsection allows for two types of vacation rentals:
(1) Proprietor on-site. The rental of an entire dwelling unit, or any portion of a dwelling unit, with the proprietor in residence on the site for the duration of the rental. Includes bed and breakfast establishments where meals are provided.
(2) No proprietor on-site. The rental of an entire dwelling unit, or any portion of a dwelling unit, when the proprietor is not a resident on-site during any portion of the duration of the rental.
(D) Rental of accessory dwelling units, second single-family homes in the RE and R1 zoning districts, and new single-family homes resulting from urban lot split subdivisions.
(1) An accessory dwelling unit that received a certificate of occupancy after January 1, 2020 may not be utilized as a vacation rental.
(2) A second single-family home created on a parcel in the RE or R1 zoning district pursuant to Cal. Gov’t Code § 65852.21 may not be utilized as a vacation rental.
(3) A single-family home created on a parcel resulting from an urban lot split subdivision may not be utilized as a vacation rental.
(E) Maximum number per year.
(1) The number of vacation rentals with no proprietor on-site permitted/licensed each year may not exceed the annual limit set by the City Council. Alternatively, the total number of vacation rentals with no proprietor on-site permitted/licensed by the city may not exceed the total limit set by City Council.
(2) Vacation rentals with a proprietor on-site are exempt from the annual limit for new vacation rentals.
(F) Permits required.
(1) Vacation rental permit. A vacation rental permit is a ministerial approval by the Department to confirm that a proposed vacation rental complies with all applicable standards.
(2) Minor use permit. See Table 204-1 in § 155.204 (Residential Zoning Districts) for types of vacation rentals that require a minor use permit.
(3) Home occupation permit. Vacation rental operators may require a home occupation permit. See § 155.304.070 (Home Occupations).
(4) Business license. Vacation rental operators must acquire and maintain a city business license.
(5) Vacation rental agreement. Prior to receiving a business license, each vacation rental operator must sign a statement that they have read, understand, and will comply with the city's vacation rental requirements.
(G) City taxes. All vacation rental uses are subject to a transient occupancy tax ("TOT") and any other mandated taxes. Each vacation rental owner, proprietor, and/or manager must comply with Municipal Code § 35.070, which addresses the collection, record keeping, reporting and remittances of applicable TOT.
(H) Standards for all vacation rental uses. The following standards apply to vacation rental uses.
(a) All vacation rental uses must be inspected to residential standards by the Building Department prior to approval.
(b) If the dwelling unit was previously inspected by the Building Department within one year of the vacation rental application, the Building Official may waive the requirement for a new inspection.
(a) No on-site parking is required to utilize an existing residential use as a vacation rental use.
(b) Except to allow conversion to an accessory dwelling unit as provided by § 155.316 (Accessory Dwelling Units), if on-site parking exists at the time the vacation rental use is established, that parking may not be removed while the vacation rental use remains in operation.
(3) Events. Vacation rentals are limited to six events (e.g., wedding receptions, graduation parties) per year. Event attendance may not exceed the total occupant limit for the property as allowed by the Building Code and may not create a noise nuisance in violation of Municipal Code § 94.02 (Loud Noises Unlawful). Vacation rental operators may further limit the number of events.
(4) Signs. See § 155.340.030(A)(8) (Vacation Rental).
(5) Maximum number per lot. The number of residential units and/or vacation rentals on a lot may not exceed the maximum allowed by the density established in Tables 204-2 and 204-3 in § 155.204 (Residential Zoning Districts).
(6) Maximum occupants. The maximum number of occupants allowed in a vacation rental may not exceed two persons per bedroom plus an additional two persons (e.g., a two-bedroom unit may have six occupants). Children aged 12 and under are not counted toward the occupancy total.
(7) Emergency contact.
(a) Each applicant for a vacation rental with no proprietor on-site must designate a local emergency contact person on the application form, including a 24-hour-emergency contact phone number.
(b) The emergency contact person may be the property owner, property manager, or designee, and must live within 50 miles of the city limits.
(c) The Department will provide the emergency contact information to all neighboring properties within 200 feet of the use and to the Eureka Police Department.
(d) The property owner must immediately notify the Department in writing of any changes to the designated emergency contact information.
(8) Fire Department access. Properties with gated entries must have a Fire Department approved device that allows emergency response vehicles and personnel to enter the property.
(9) Lapse of vacation rental permit.
(a) Vacation rental permits shall be subject to annual review and no-fee renewal by the Department.
(b) A vacation rental permit shall lapse and become void by February 1 of each year, unless the business license for the vacation rental is renewed and in good standing, all applicable taxes and fees are paid, and there are no outstanding Police, Fire, or Building Department violations.
(c) If a vacation rental permit lapses, a new vacation rental permit shall be required.
(d) Unless a lapse occurs, approval of a vacation rental permit shall run with the land and shall be fully transferable to the new property owner, provided the new property owner obtains a business license within two months of the purchase of the property.
(I) Enforcement. A permit or approval for any vacation rental use may be revoked in accordance with § 155.428 (Enforcement and Penalties) and as follows:
(1) The Director may revoke a permit for a vacation rental use upon finding one or more of the following:
(a) The proprietor, property owner, or emergency contact has been negligent in responding to an emergency situation more than two times in a rolling 12-month period.
(b) More than two documented law enforcement violations related to the vacation rental have occurred in a rolling 12-month period.
(c) The vacation rental use has been chronically non-compliant with the requirements of this subsection.
(d) The vacation rental owner has failed to pay required transient occupancy taxes despite warnings from the Finance Department.
(e) The proprietor or property owner has failed to correct noted Building or Fire Code violations.
(2) Documented, significant violations may include copies of citations, written warnings, or other documentation maintained by law enforcement, Fire Department, Finance Department, or Building Department.
(Ord. 938-C.S., passed 11-1-22)