Seal Beach Bans Rentals of 29 Days or Less

California Beach Community Vacation Rentals Airbnb VRBO

[Alvin Brickman for Metrosetter Wire]

The City Council of Seal Beach, CA, officially banned future vacation rentals on Tuesday in a 5-0 vote. Homeowners who received a short-term rental permit by Oct. 22, however, are still allowed to rent out their property.

John Crandall, “Seal Beach Bans Future Vacation Rentals”:

With little fanfare, the City Council voted Tuesday to permanently ban residential vacation rentals in Seal Beach.

The 5-0 vote makes it illegal to rent out a residential property for 29 days or less – called a short-term rental or a vacation rental — for any purpose in the city.

The move caps off years of tension between residents who say the practice brings money to the local economy and is a property owner’s right and neighbors who say vacationers are bringing crime, pollution and rowdy parties into the normally quiet beachfront hamlet. The ban does include a grandfather clause allowing existing vacation rentals to continue operating.

“It was what the community wanted…” said Councilwoman Ellery Deaton. “It’s not anything we’re imposing on the community.”

“I think any time we get visitors, most likely, they will spend money,” she said,” (However), this is a residential community, not a hotel community.”

Last month officials approved an emergency version of the law, but the final vote was cast Tuesday night.

However, any homeowners, who had received a city permit allowing short-term rentals by Oct. 22, would still be allowed to rent out their property.

Kami Ferraiz, who represents a longtime Seal Beach homeowner who began renting his property this summer, said she wanted more time to apply for a vacation rental and that they had only learned about the ban three weeks earlier.

After the council meeting, Ferraiz told Patch that she felt the ban was “unreasonable,” especially given Seal Beach’s support for the Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Shop Local’ campaign.

“You’re saying two things: you want people to come shop and enjoy Seal Beach, but yet don’t come stay here,” Ferraiz said.

Old Town resident Barbara Barton, who was in favor of the ban, said she thinks it will help keep Seal Beach a “residential community.”

“The residents in my neighborhood would love to have just a nice neighborhood,” said Barton, 45 year-resident.

According to my interpretation, Mr. Ferraiz mentions the “Shop Local” campaign to point out how the city supports supporting local “indie” businesses as long as the business in question isn’t a locally owned hotel (i.e., a vacation rental). For those interested, here’s the official description of “Shop Local” in Seal Beach:

The Shop Local Movement in Seal Beach helps strengthen the local economy, protects local services and supports the people and businesses that give Seal Beach its unique character.

When you shop at a Local Indie Business in Seal Beach more of your money stays within the community. How? Independently-owned businesses reinvest as much as 25% more revenue into the Seal Beach community when compared to other non independently-owned businesses. When you Shop Local in Seal Beach and support the Local Indie Businesses, you’re not only being a smart shopper, you’re also supporting the people of Seal Beach.

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