While many use the New Year as motivation to break from old habits, City Hall is using the first meeting of the new year to revisit several old discussions.

The agenda calls for revisions to several previously discussed actions. Council will revisit regulations on animal acts in parks, uses of airport land for parks and will hear the second reading of its recently passed modifications to taxi rules.

Council will also discuss changes to rules regulating short term rentals.

“The proposed amendments will clarify that internet companies that serve as hosting platforms and charge a fee for facilitating short term rental transactions will be responsible for collecting Transient Occupancy Taxes (“TOT”) and held accountable for booking illegal rentals, while hosts and property management companies must comply with all aspects of the ordinance. The amended ordinance will not regulate internet companies which do not charge for booking services, and act solely as publishers of advertisements for short term rentals,” said the staff report.

City Hall drafted new rules for short term rentals in 2015. Those regulations divided rentals into two categories, vacant rentals and home sharing. Vacation rentals (defined as the exclusive rental of a private residence for transient use without the presence of a full time resident) are prohibited. However, home sharing (renting a private residence while the primary occupant is present) is allowed.

The report said recent court rulings have prompted the proposed discussion to see if provisions of the City’s laws can be strengthened.

“Staff is therefore proposing some minor amendments to clarify some terms and requirements related to the creation of a home-sharing registry and the publishing of that registry,” said the report. “While a host may currently opt out of being listed, the proposed law would require that all City approved hosts be included in the registry list and that the list would be publicly available.”

New business includes possible money to support local public art projects. Several councilmembers have requested City Hall allocate $22,000 to support new murals in several neighborhoods.

Mayor Winterer, Mayor Pro Tem Davis, and Councilmember Vazquez have asked for the money that will be matched by other contributions. The Council will discuss a $12,000 grant for Mid City Neighbors that will be matched with a contribution of $3000 and $10,000 to the Pico Improvement Organization, to be matched with another $10,000.

“In both instances these funds are to be used in conjunction with Beautify Earth to paint murals on sites already identified and approved by property owners in the Mid City neighborhood and on Pico Boulevard,” said the report.

Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 at City Hall, 1685 Main St.

editor@smdp.com

 

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