Lawsuit Filed Against City of Santa Barbara for Legal R-4 Short Term Rentals
Well, we knew it would end up here. Let me tell you that one thing I have learned over the last 2 1/2 years in trying to legally permit a short term rental in the City of Santa Barbara is that the city is under the “rule” of the staff in the City Planning Department and City Attorney’s Office to promote their socialist agendas and those of the “hoteliers”. Those 2 offices believe they were put on this Earth to police this city at any and all costs and “arbitrary interpretations” they make are “law”. Well guess what, they are not. There is a process the City of Santa Barbara must go through in order to make any of these interpretations law and that process they did not only not go through and they did not grant due process under the law to property owners when the decisions were made by Santa Barbara City Council Members. Be very clear, any political or special interests/agendas will overshadow those of owners and their property rights or small businesses in the City of Santa Barbara. After 2 1/2 years you can see my attitude has done a complete 180. It’s a tangled web…
If this is your first time reading my blog, I encourage you to go back and read where this all started 2 1/2 years ago first, to get caught up. For those loyal to the cause that know and understand that we are talking about properties that have the same zoning designation as hotels, bed and breakfasts and other commercial properties, this fight is long from being over and we are not about to give up. 48 members strong and growing by the day, we now have filed our first of what will potentially be many lawsuits in the coming months against the City of Santa Barbara. Sad that it has come to this but it all needs to end.
The City of Santa Barbara fails to recognize that short term rentals are NOT hotels. The City of Santa Barbara fails to adopt an ordinance that specifically defines and regulates short term rentals in ANY zone let alone the hotel zone where stays of less than 30 days have always been and will always be legal. The City of Santa Barbara is allowing numerous hotels to be built by “hoteliers” but as soon as an owner that wants to rent out their property located next door to one of these hotels with the EXACT same zoning designation (while they are gone 4-6 months out of the year), the city now cries “HOUSING CRISIS”? Let’s not forget, these same owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to play by the city’s “Rules of Ridiculousness” in calling their properties now “hotels” and then in the 11th hour, 2 years later, deny them based on something they have no control of and has nothing even related to their properties…workforce housing shortage…which has been around since the early 1970’s? And to Mayor Helene Schneider, who says it’s a “discretionary process”, nope…that is something that must be site specific. One approved 2 weeks prior to this one in our group denied and 1 block away didn’t have a “housing crisis”, why this one? Hmmmm……tangled web.
Really? A Housing Crisis for a $3 million dollar home that the owner lives in 6 months out of the year is definitely impacting the housing shortage because for one, this home could potentially house at least 15 homeless people if Cathy Murrillo was elected mayor and had her way. Or better yet, perhaps some of the people most vocal about it saying our homes are causing rents to go up would say that this owners mortgage of $10,000/month should instead be offered as affordable workforce housing at say $2600/month as Cathy Murrillo recently claimed for a 2 bedroom. The owner should just forgo both using their property as a second home and at the same time not be able to make the payments. But it’s OK if the owner loses the home to foreclosure because at least the tenant got to enjoy it for a little while before they too lost the roof over their heads, right?
This my friends is the definition of the socialist government of Santa Barbara our current city council and city staff embraces and seeks to advance for their benefit. This needs to change and fast as our property rights are quickly being chipped away in Santa Barbara. This is why our first lawsuit against the city of Santa Barbara in the legal R-4 and other zones has been filed with others to follow. If we do not stand up to the City of Santa Barbara, who will? This nonsense has absolutely NO basis in the law. We have Joseph Liebman representing our group as our attorney and Jarrett Gorin as our Land Use Planner. We have managed to make huge progress together as a group in stopping many things coming down the pipeline that would have affected all of our properties in Santa Barbara in the legal allowed use zones.
We have challenged the City of Santa Barbara and been successful on the 1 unit exemption even under the “Rules of Ridiculousness” hotel code they seek to apply to our properties which we completely disagree with. We have a larger battle we would like you to join. If you own an R-4 property or other property zoned C-1, C-2, R-3 (some of historic merit apply), C-L, C-M, HRC-1, HRC-2, OC please get in touch with me immediately as we are on to our next legal challenge.
Visit our site to sign up: http://www.sbstra.com
And on another note, I encourage all of you to vote in the November elections. I NEVER was involved in politics until this all started over 2 years ago. Having sat through at least 30 City Council Meetings on various topics, I can tell you my 6 years of college and Master’s Degree, former teacher and life experience with 2 children and running many small businesses here in Santa Barbara….
Cathy Murrillo is NOT qualified to be our next Mayor!!! She will protect the homeless over your property rights and at the expense of all our safety. She favors tenants rights over any property rights and she believes socialism 100% will save our citizens and we should be a sanctuary city.
Frank Hotchkiss will be much of the same stuff we see now which is crazy town and special interests and agendas with no one controlling that Planning Department or City Attorney’s Office or City Head.
Bendy White is not qualified to lead our city and we will have the same mistakes over and over again. Did you know there are 27 active lawsuits against the City right now that I know about? This is because of the poor decisions of this city council!
The ONLY choice for NEW Leadership and new Ideas that will lead us out of this mess is:
Just listen to him, go meet him. Don’t let me sway you, you be your the judge.