Short Term Rental Ordinance Gets Prelim OK


The Malibu City Council last night approved the framework for a major crackdown on overnight rentals like B and B.

Under terms of the tentative plan, the owner or main tenant of a dwelling would have to be on premises for the unit to be rented out. But other major issues, such as whether vacation unit rentals would be permitted in multi-unit structures, were sent back to the city staff for additional work.

Council members want more research on how to handle this for multifamily residences, as some on beach near hotels/restaurants make sense, but inland apartments need to be kept as housing stock. Details on the KBUU News in the morning.

The meeting went until after midnight Tuesday morning.

Below is the livestream coverage. We did not quote a lot of public speakers, even though they had compelling stories, because in the end, it’s what the city council decided that’s important.

COUNCILBLOG 1: The Malibu city council is taking up the overnight rental matter now, at 7:14. 5 hours’ worth of public speakers. Malibu mayor Rick Mullen says a whole lot of people who live outside Malibu city limits had been told by the Air B and B company to attend and speak.

COUNCILBLOG 2: City council cutting 3 minute windows to 2 minutes, with max of 1 additional minute each donated by another person.

COUNCILBLOG 3: #Malibu Las Flores Beach residents says BandB renters next door were having daylight sex on the beach. Won’t someone think about the children?

COUNCILBLOG 4: Another worry that prostitutes frequent parties at BandBs. Lots of murmuring from the audience. SIDEBAR COMMENT: One listener asks if I’ve ever seen all the hookers at Starbucks on Sunday mornings. Answer: um, no.

COUNCILBLOG 5: Lucillle Keller reminds the city council that temporary. transient rentals are limited in Malibu to CV1 and CV2 zoned areas. Not residential houses. And that temporary housing is different, in the codes, than overnight rentals.

COUNCILBLOG 6: But a Band B proponent says all this will do is create a city full of Permit Patties.

COUNCILBLOG 7: One guy says the problem is not that we need more regulations, we need proper enforcement of existing laws. Public sex, loud cars, late parties are already illegal and are not being enforced. “Do not ban short terms. Enforce current rules.”

COUNCILBLOG 8: Don Schmitz wants his clients in Big Rock beach exempted. Ken Ehrlich wants his clients in the Colony to be a rental free zone. The big guns are out, and they want special zones.

COUNCILBLOG 9: Public hearing winding down at 9:26. Complaints of sheriff’s not responding, flagrant zoning BandB operators threatening neighbors with assault. 10 minute bio break now.

COUNCILBLOG 10: Back in session. City consultant says other cities are limiting B and Bs to on-premise landlords and setting quotas for certain neighborhoods. Skylar Peak is asking if BandBs are even legal in residential zones.

COUNCILBLOG 10-1/2: ASST CITY ATTY says a short term rental is the same as a long term residential (even thought he city general plan says otherwise).

COUNCILBLOG 11: Laura Rosenthal says she has seen no evidence that Malibu school enrollment has dropped because units have bene converted to overnight rentals. Skylar Rosenthal says not so, he knows of several houses in his neighborhood.

COUNCILBLOG 11-1/2: Rosenthal says she has rented her house out in the past, and would not have been able to if the host was required to stay there.

COUNCILBLOG 12: Mullen rhapsodizing about city Mission Statement and over-commercialization. Calls this the classic battle of Malibu, the influence of money, the slippery slope. People been renting since May Rindge …

COUNCILBLOG 13: Mayor gets deputy city atty Trevor to repeat that short term rentals is no different than long term. “Nice try but wrong” or words to that effect says the mayor.

COUNCILBLOG 14: Mullen floats complete ban of overnight rentals: Skylar no. Rosenthal no. LaMonet not heard. Wagner: would support but sees in court forever. Mullen says there is not a stomach on the council for that, despite the planning commission’s urging.

COUNCILBLOG 15: Since the ban got sunk, council is now talking brass tacks about the ordinance. Skylar wants a $1,000 fee to pay for enforcement, on top of the transient occupancy tax.

COUNCILBLOG 15-1/2: City manager Reva feldman says the fee can only be to offset enforcement costs. so let her get back to them on the amount.

COUNCILBLOG 16: Skylar wants every overnight rental to get its septic system permitted. Laura says that is an unfair burden – these septic systems are working. Turns out the inspection is $500 so Laura is fine with that.

COUNCILBLOG 17: Council decides this will not be decided tonight, but final decision later. Meanwhile, going thru the proposed ordinance one by one. Now at item 5: 500-foot notice. And item 6: all motels must have offstreet parking.

COUNCILBLOG 18: Issue of multifamily homes being partly converted to hotels is complex. Peak wants inland apartment houses preserved as housing stock, but coastal beach multi-families make sense as overnight rentals. Mullen says more research needed.

COUNCILBLOG 19: Council has no problem with double secret probation for violators, and mandatory time out for violations. with appeals to the Planning Commission and City Council. $1000 PER DAY penalties.

COUNCILBLOG 20: Skylar wants B and Bs ONLY for owners, in their primary occupancy. Laura says an absentee renter would be unable to rent out a room to make money. Skylar says correct.

COUNCILBLOG 21: Staff will come back with a recommendation for flexibility for houses owned by families with lots of people, who rent out the old family beach house and need to rent it out to cover taxes.

COUNCILBLOG 21-1/2: Skylar says city must limit overnight rentals to ones primary residence or else loopholes will cause problems.

COUNCILBLOG 22: Mullen says maybe old Malibu families should consider selling their beach houses, and change their lifestyles, rather than ask the city to drill loopholes into the primary residence definition. But he’s willing to see if the staff can come up with a way to handle that. BUT he says there is a new paradigm and maybe no overnight rentals unless there is a primary resident claiming occupancy there.

COUNCILBLOG 23: No limit on number of days per year. Moving from what once was the wild west to something that is going to be a lot more under control.’