After five hours of staff analysis, public testimony and council discussion, the 3-person San Luis Obispo city council ultimately approved an ordinance on short term rentals.
STR owners and the residents who live next to them testified for more than an hour on both sides of the issue.
After several votes, the three person council finally agreed with option D, which staff developed during a lengthy break in the proceedings last night. It eliminates STRs in R-1 zoning and limits the total number to 250.
The meeting did not adjourn until after 11:30. The new ordinance eliminates short term vacation rentals in R-1 zoning in Paso Robles. Licenses for STRs currently operating in R-1 zoning will be phased out in 24 months. It means that all short term vacation rentals in R-1 zoning will lose their license to operate in two years.
Getting an ordinance approved by the bare-bones council was not easy. Councilman John Hamon and Steve Gregory had previously recused themselves due to conflicts of interest. As a result, the council needed a unanimous, 3-0 vote for approval. Four motions failed before council member Maria Elena Garcia moved (for a second time) approval of option D. That plan included no STR permits in R-1 zoned neighborhoods. Mayor Steve Martin compromised and cast the deciding vote. The motion by Maria Elena Garcia passed 3-0. The new ordinance stops any new short term permits in the R-1 zone, and phases out any operating over the next 24 months. It limits the total number of STR’s in the city to 250.
Paso Robles follows more than a dozen California cities in banning STR vacation rental housing in R-1 neighborhoods. Among the eighteen municipalities to impose a similar ban; Carmel, Ojai, Santa Monica, Pasadena, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Saratoga, Sausalito, Calistoga, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Rohnert Park and Monterey. The ordinance will return to the council for a second, decisive reading in two weeks.