Council updates vacation rental application, sets fees

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Changes were officially adopted for vacation rental applications in Winters.

Resolution 2022-16 was presented and unanimously adopted at the Feb. 15 council meeting setting planning fees and updates by establishing a vacation rental application fee of $520 and an annual renewal fee of $152.

In 2019, the Winters City Council adopted Ordinance 2019-02, which updated the municipal code and established a vacation rental ordinance; however, the ordinance apparently did not establish the permit process.

Senior Planner, Kurt Skierski, explained the likely expectation in 2019 was that it would fall under and require a conditional use permit (CUP).

City staff determined that short-term vacation rentals, where a single-family residence is rented out for a period of 30 days or less, calls for a different permit application process than that required for a CUP.

Short-term vacation rentals require onsite inspection for smoke and CO 2 detectors, fire extinguishers, visible street address numbers, openable bedroom window for means of egress and functioning utilities and cooking appliances.

Last November, an event that occurred in a residential neighborhood — when a vacation rental advertised on Airbnb for $285 per night — was the location of an incident that resulted in a police response.

Police Chief John P. Miller advised the Express in an email, “on Nov. 21, (2021) we received a report of a brandishing with a handgun on the 700 block of Lupine Way and responded.”

As described by a neighbor, the Airbnb guests were noisy and in the early morning hours a neighborhood resident went to the home to ask that they quiet down. When contacted, a guest reportedly brandished a handgun leading to the police being called. Miller said no arrests were made but that an incident report was forwarded to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution determination.

After the incident, Skierski told the Express that the owner of the home was not registered with the City as an “unhosted” vacation rental and that the City was working with the homeowner to bring it into compliance.

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