Redding Airbnb Does Fine Without Unenforceable Regulations

Not my front porch, but it looks like one that could be from  Airbnb.

Not my front porch, but it looks like one that could be from Airbnb.

I am not in the hotel, motel or bed-and-breakfast business. And I don’t want to be. I am a journalist and small-business-owner who works from home where I operate A News Cafe.com.

However, since October of 2014 I’ve been a 5-star Airbnb host. In fact, I’m proud to say that as of last week, Airbnb named me one of its Super Hosts. There’s no financial reward with that title, just the pride in knowing that by Airbnb’s high standards, I’m considered an exceptional host.

In my year with Airbnb, I’ve hosted 17 reservations who’ve stayed between one to five nights, for a total of about 51 days a year. It’s a part-time, super-casual endeavor.

I rent out my home three ways: the entire house (I leave); the entire house minus my bedroom (I leave); or just the guestroom (I stay). During the times I rent out my entire home, I might take a little vacation, or visit family or friends.

Airbnb is one of the best things to happen to Redding’s economy in a long time. It helps hosts, it helps guests and it helps the city with an influx of positive, desirable visitors; you know, the kinds who arrive without electronic ankle bracelets.

Unfortunately, I will have to change the way I currently host my Airbnb guests if the Redding City Council agrees to accept the draft ordinance approved Tuesday by the Redding Planning Commission regarding short-term rentals.

Currently, my house can sleep seven – two queen beds, one queen sleeper-sofa and one twin roll-away. Plus, I have an inflatable bed for babies or toddlers. Under the draft ordinance, I would be limited to two rooms with two adults in each room.

Sad to say that the Eureka grandparents I hosted this summer, along with their adult son, adult daughter, their spouses and small children – who CHOSE Redding for their summer vacation –wouldn’t be allowed back in my home under the current first-tier short-term-rental proposal.

For the record, I — like every short-term host who spoke Tuesday during the Planning Commission meeting — am fine with the city collecting TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) fees via Airbnb. TOT brings extra money to our city to help mitigate visitors’ use of streets and city services. Fair enough.

But some parts of the proposed short-term rental regulations seem unfair.

One Airbnb host who spoke Tuesday before the Redding Planning Commission is the poster child for the Perfect Airbnb Host, with an adorably charming Garden Tract house. Yet because she and her husband live in an older home where there’s room for just one car in their skinny driveway, she and her husband will be unable to continue as Airbnb hosts, if the Redding City Council approves the draft ordinance as-is. That’s because the first-tier Hosted Homestay category prohibits on-street parking, either by the guest or even the host.

This is in a neighborhood where many couples park one of their cars on the street, and the other in the tiny driveway. Likewise, they are banned from modifying their property to create more parking, which is too bad, considering a gravel driveway would seem more desirable than a drought-dead brown lawn.

So goodbye to that sweet Airbnb couple in the Garden Tract.

And then there’s the part of the “Hosted Homestay” first-tier ordinance that requires I remain on the premises with all my guests. The only way around it is if I jump to that second-tier, Vacation Rental category, similar to what official B&B’s operate under, which would require a higher fee, and allow me to rent out more than 120 days a year, which I have no desire to do.

… if an individual desires to rent more rooms out than allowed under the “Hosted Homestay,” he/she would be required to receive a permit to operate either a “Vacation Rental” or “Bed and Breakfast” establishment, whichever better fits their needs…

I’m unhappy about that, mainly because it would defeat the purpose to be a part-time, short-term Airbnb host if I end up spending more on fees than I earn as a host.

It’s worth mentioning that the typical Airbnb host is a middle-class person who can’t plop down $1,400 (or whatever) in hopes she’ll host enough guests to recoup the cost.

TOT aside, I feel frustrated at the prospect of additional regulations on an Airbnb system that’s already working fine.

We Airbnb hosts already pay plenty to make our homes appealing to prospective guests. As a homeowner I already pay property taxes. And I pay income taxes on the money I receive from my Airbnb bookings. Then I pay sales taxes on everything I buy to make my home a better Airbnb rental. And, naturally, Airbnb takes its 3 percent.

Plus, after my guests arrive, they pay taxes on money they spend. For example, this month I rented out my home to four adults here from the East Coast for a Bethel Church conference. After they’d left I found one of their grocery receipts on the counter from my neighborhood Safeway: $269.93. That’s East Coast money spent in Redding, California.

I’ve spent money locally to buy new linens, towels, pillows and bedding to make my guests’ experience better. I’ve spent money at local nurseries where I bought bedding flowers and bark, and I’ve shopped locally to buy umbrellas and patio furniture so my guests can enjoy the pool in a pretty setting. I’ve even bought local art for my walls to show guests the north state’s wealth of creative talent.

To get my home Airbnb/company-ready, I’ve hired local handymen, house-cleaners, window-washers and landscapers.

To prepare for Airbnb, I bought a new sleeper sofa, a new queen-sized bed, a new roll-away twin-sized bed, and an inflatable bed for babies or toddlers. Everything was purchased here in the north state.

I shop at Moore’s Flour Mill for ingredients to make coffee cakes for my guests’ gift baskets that I’ve filled with local coffee, beer and wine.

So forgive us hosts for protesting that in addition to the new collection of TOT fees from Airbnb guests, we now face potential regulations through the city that includes the payment of some yet-to-be determined fees.

Airbnb has helped Redding’s shaky economy where so many citizens struggle to make ends meet. Although for most Airbnb hosts the money earned is supplemental, for other hosts, the income earned from being an Airbnb host helps some people pay their rents, mortgages, or cover the cost of services – such as when I paid $1,400 to a local tree company to remove dangerous limbs poised over my roof.

There’s a Vietnam veteran and his wife who rely upon the extra money from Airbnb to help them buy medications and food. And there’s the young family whose Airbnb hosting has allowed them, for the first time in their lives, to actually have a savings account.

And what about enforcement? How in the world could Redding enforce these proposed regulations regarding everything from whether a guest parks on the street to the number of guests per room and the number or rooms rented in each home?

Redding’s code enforcement department already has a backlog of something like 600 cases for more serious infractions, like health and safety violations.

Why impose largely unenforceable regulations on law-abiding people who are actually going above and beyond to not just better their lives, but this city as a whole?

Again, TOT aside, the potential imposition of strict regulations is unnecessary, and even redundant, because Airbnb already has high expectations of its hosts and guests. If there’s a problem reported to Airbnb about their guests or hosts, Airbnb is on it. Airbnb has zero tolerance for bad-apple hosts or guests.

By the way, when this topic reached a boiling point during a July workshop, Redding had 187 Airbnb homes. As of last night, Redding has 154 Airbnb properties. Is the drop in Redding Airbnb hosts related to the proposed regulations? Who knows.

And here’s something else. During that July workshop there was a group of vocal Gold Hills homeowners who were understandably upset that in their neighborhood cul-de-sac of 12 homes, four were rentals with a revolving door of students.

Even if the city council imposed the recommended short-term rental regulations, they’d be powerless to to take care of the Gold Hills problem if those four homes were rented to students for more than 30 days. The Gold Hills folks would be on their own. In fact, the last I heard they were still on their own, and many of them, unfortunately, blame Airbnb.

Loophole alert, because ostensibly — strangely — an Airbnb host with a guest who stayed, say, five months rather than five days, suddenly doesn’t need to worry about the regulations. But a host like me, who rents an average of 50 days a year, will be regulated beyond the collection of TOT fees.

Something I’ve not addressed is the fact that some hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast owners protest that Airbnb hosts are taking away business. The thing is, all Airbnb guests choose to stay in private homes for a reason. Maybe they find hotels and motels too impersonal. Maybe they like staying in a neighborhood, rather than a commercial zone. And for sure, many appreciate having full kitchen and yard access, something guests don’t enjoy in the typical hotel, motel or even B&B.

Hotels, motels and B&B inns all have their place and appeal for different needs and situations. Sometimes a hotel, motel or bed-and-breakfast is the right choice. Other times it’s an Airbnb home. Guests get choices.

And those guests are real people. I’m thinking of the young Stanford graduates – both professors – who rented my guestroom solely so they could use my house as home base as they hiked, biked and experienced places like Lassen Peak and Castle Crags. They arrived during Rodeo Week, and paid money they hadn’t planned on spending to see their first rodeo where they paid to eat and drink there, too.

I’m thinking of the San Francisco couple who rented my guestroom for a few days during the Fourth of July holiday. The first night here their bikes were stolen from their car while parked in my driveway (another topic for another day). During their stay, my refrigerator filled with take-out containers of leftover meals they’d bought from local businesses like Shameless O’Leery’s, Vintage and Deja Vu. They rented kayaks and paddle boards from Whiskeytown, and they watched the women’s soccer game at O’Leery’s where they felt a sense of adopted hometown pride as they cheered on our own Megan Rapinoe, and they watched the fireworks from my pool. The also bought a new bike in Redding before they gassed up their car and returned to the Bay Area.

In the case of both of those couples, they rented the guestroom while I was home. They came and went as they pleased. I did my thing, and they did theirs.

But then there are those guests who need their space, privacy and access to an entire house, with me gone.

An example of guests who rented the whole house was the Portland family who used Redding as their home-away-from-home for a Thanksgiving reunion, because the elderly grandmother resides in a Redding assisted-living facility. They shopped in local stores where they bought turkey, ham, wine, pies and everything a family might want for a Thanksgiving feast. In that case, it would have been totally weird for me to be there during their family’s Thanksgiving.

A similar situation was the family who spent Christmas at my house while I was away, and like the Portland guests, they shopped for Christmas dinner and Christmas presents, right here in Redding. The guests were two adult brothers, their wives and children, all here because their grandmother lived just a block from my house, and my Airbnb rental allowed them to have their own space during the holidays.

Can you imagine either of those situations flying in the lobby of the Holiday Inn, or a bed and breakfast inn? Neither can I.

Being an Airbnb host is one of the most fun and gratifying things I’ve ever done. It’s exposed me to fascinating people from far-off places whose paths would never have crossed mine, except for Airbnb. And yes, of course, being an Airbnb host has provided extra funds for me to do things like buy a kayak, or visit my son in the Czech Republic at Christmastime.

However, one of the most valuable, and most unexpected benefits of being an Airbnb host is that it’s helped temper my disgust and disappointment about Redding’s increasingly ugly warts and flaws. Being an Airbnb host has allowed me to see and appreciate our region through the eyes of enthusiastic guests; visitors who marvel at all there is to see and do here.

I applaud city staff and others for spending so many months looking at this issue, and weighing options. The very nature of government is to impose laws and regulations, so city staff and the Planning Commissioners are just doing their job.

Likewise, I realize that although I wish the regulations were less strict, I’m aware that others might believe the regulations are too lax.

But at the heart of the issue — perhaps what chaps me most — is that the city is trying to micromanage what I  – a lawful, positive member of the community – does with my own home. The city will say at this first tier that I cannot allow a guest to park a car on the street in front of my house. It demands I stay in the house with guests,when some of them would prefer I’d just leave.

What kills me is that the draft short-term regulatory proposals are set up in such a way that if I want wiggle room for the things I just mentioned, I’ll have to actually pay the city for that opportunity and elevate myself to kind of business I had no plans to ever go. It makes no sense to me, other than it means that in order to do what I want with my house, I must pay the city more money and jump through hoops.

The final decision rests with the Redding City Council.. I hope the council will take into consideration all the ways Airbnb benefits Redding’s economy. I hope the council will bear in mind how Airbnb attracts quality, curious  travelers who want to be here, and they spend money. Finally, I hope the council appreciates how every Airbnb hosts is a self-appointed citizen ambassador, Redding men and women who shower guests with Chamber of Commerce brochures, travel guides, and restaurant menus, all promoting local sights and businesses.

Redding-area Airbnb hosts and guests shouldn’t be punished, or suffer strict regulations. Rather, if anything, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Redding actually provided some kinds of perks and incentives – a token of the city’s thanks to us for helping our economy at a time when Redding is considered in many circles an undesirable community in which to live, let alone visit?

Yes, it’s well within the city’s power and authority to impose unenforceable regulations and red tape upon Airbnb hosts and guests. But sometimes, like the idea of wearing white stretch pants, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

I implore the Redding City Council, please be Airbnb-friendly.

Airbnb is not broken in Redding. Not yet. Let’s keep it that way.

Click here for a link to Redding’s short-term rental draft ordinance, approved unanimously Tuesday by the Redding Planning Commission.

 Click here for my interview with Kent Manuel, Redding Planning Manager.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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31 Responses

  1. Randall R. Smith Randall R. Smith says:

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  2. Avatar CoachBob says:

    Cities do what they do best: Make rules! Usually with a cost attached. Whole thing strikes me as stupid. I they can’t enforce it, much like ticketing homeless?, they should mind their own business. IMO

  3. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Remember all the hysteria when someone wanted to open a bed and breakfast in Redding back in the 70s or 80s? The city council behaved as though the owners wanted to open a whorehouse and made those people jump through hoops that they would never put Marriott through. And now the B&B owners (along with the Hotel Row people) are squawking about AirB&B and putting pressure on Redding City Council (who really SHOULD be tending to issues like the transient issue, but this must be a welcome distraction from serious issues).

    AirB&B provides a service that chain hotels/motels don’t and can’t. For those who just want to go to sleep, there’s Holiday Inn (didn’t they once have a slogan like, “no surprises”?). That’s fine for those who want or need that.  I am not a fan of the enforced chummy friendliness of a regular B&B or of the sterility of a hotel chain. AirB&B suits us just fine. We are aware of the choices out there and choose AirB&B.

    Perhaps if AirB&B is threatening their business, the other lodging options could adapt THEIR businesses to a changing market.

    P.S. Directly across the street is a rental house with at least six to eight men (maybe Bethel – who knows?) who come and go in shifts at all hours and take up TONS of street parking. When the house was initially rented, there were about four. Is Redding City Council going to do anything about this, or just pick on legitimate Air&B hosts?

    • Barbara, your line about the whorehouse made me smile.

      But seriously, about the rental house across the street from your home, if it’s rented to those guys more than 30 days a month, then it’s not a “short-term rental” and the city will leave them alone. Unfortunately, it’s houses like that rental that cause the real problems in neighborhoods, not the casual Airbnb host who rents a few days a month.

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        So the entire parking issue is harassment and nitpicking, then;  making up an unenforceable rule for no apparent reason other than satisfying big hotel owners (who have ginormous parking lots already).

  4. Avatar Mary says:

    I use Airbnb because when I travel with my family we don’t want to be in a hotel room for more than 1 night.  I like being able to cook a meal, and not be trapped in a small room when my children go to bed.  This is a big deal for a lot of parents.  Who wants to go to bed at 7 or 8 when on vacation?  I don’t sleep well when I have to share a room with my children, I hear every little noise and wake up.  Hotels are not for everyone, and airbnb has been great for our family.  We often find better deals than we used to find on vrbo.

    I hope that the city will work with the airbnb hosts.  However, I do see how multiple cars parked in the streets can become an issue for neighbors.  Often on the airbnb rentals that I have used, there is a car limit, and some have even stated that all vehicles must be parked in the driveway.  This was included in a rental agreement for a house in the Santa Cruz area .  So, I wonder if those cities have already adopted similar policies.

  5. Avatar Virginia says:

    A few years back, I was told by the City about parking of an actual owner occupied house was two cars in a two car garage and two in the drive way.  No parking on the street.

    Now I see Bethel students parking all over the place, unless, and that is a big unless, the property owner cares about their rental and their neighborhood’s value.

    The City needs to try to fix the problems we really have rather than a possible loss of a few dollars in taxes, especially as they love to give raises,  and also, raising the debt of the unfunded retirement funds!

    Leave any new regulations in File 13!

     

  6. Avatar Phil Barker says:

    Doni,

    This issue is not about neighbor complaints, though there may be a handful of those.  It is about power and money.  Bureaucracies grow like amoebas consuming freedoms as they do.  And, they need money (fees, licenses, fines) to support their growth. Unfortunately, unelected bureaucrats actually run the City.  With few exceptions, the City Council is a rubber stamp function endorsing whatever the bureaucrats determine is in their best interest.

    • Phil, I hope that when this goes before the city council the members will carefully custom-design an ordinance that doesn’t ruin a good thing we have here in Redding with Airbnb and VRBO.

  7. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Donnie, I did not know about airbnb. Sounds very interesting.  I hope the city will be fair and not impose too many restrictions. The only thing I would object to would be the extra parking of cars in the neighborhood. The city does need more income for sure; a lot of streets need attention, and this takes a lot of money; also, we need more police ; we need to get “a handle” on the homeless issue — very  important.  Yes, I like the idea of meeting people — and some of those folks would like to come back again and again to use the home for a getaway .  Good luck, Donnie..

  8. Avatar Jeff Gore says:

    Doni,

     

    May I suggest a different line of business?  We all know your baked goods are to die for, perhaps you could sell a small basket of them for, I dunno, $100?

     

    Of course with the economy the way it is, it only makes sense to run unconventional promotions from time to time so I suggest occassionally offering a complementary stay at your lovely home to friends (old & new alike) who purchase of a basket.

     

    Baked good are exempt from tax too, no?

  9. Avatar Carrie says:

    Seems like if parking is the issue, the City ought to start by citing parking violations. AirBnB guests (and hosts) should follow neighborhood CC & Rs.

  10. Avatar Suelike says:

    I am an AirBnB client.  I prefer being able to stay in a neighborhood and see the local environment of my destination.  It also allows me to cook meals to meet my dietary needs that is sometimes hard to do dining out.  I also like to buy local foods in local venues and prepare them myself to more fully experience the area I have traveled to. When I return to the house after a day exploring the area I can put on my slippers and kick back on the couch and feel like I am home.  It makes the vacation so much more relaxing.  I will continue to look for these options when I travel out side this area and I hope tourists here will have the same option.  All tourists bring dollars to the local economy and we should welcome them even if they are associated with this non-traditional(quickly becoming traditional) means of lodging.

  11. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    So . . . . did the powers that be listen to you all and the very valid points you made? I heard on the news this evening but they voted to accept the recommendations  . . . but I’m not sure what that means.

     

    • The Planning Commission approved the staff’s draft ordinance (you can see it, above). Now it goes to the City Council. It’s feasible the City Council could vote against it, but I’d be surprised.

  12. Avatar cheyenne says:

    Doni, don’t feel that Redding is alone in its seemingly useless restrictions.  Most other cities are the same way as different groups pursue what they feel is important.  The council members seem to want to make a change which is usually why they ran for the office and some of those changes are weird.

    In Fort Collins a measure is before the city council to let women go topless as men are allowed to do so.

  13. Avatar Shelly Shively says:

    Great article, sister!

    What riles me, as an Airbnb Host (ess), is that it seems that the City ‘s targeting of Airbnb hosts, is clearly, a case of mistaken identity:  the City received a batch of calls from neighbors complaining about the turnaround of housefuls of students, with many cars, coming & going, taking up street parking.  I’d call, to complain, too, if that was the case in my neighborhood.  These houseful of students do Not represent the type of Airbnb guest that epitomizes Airbnb.  First, they are typically here longer than 30 days-perhaps months, which exempts them from the categories outlined in the proposed ordinance.  I expect that Airbnb would be very displeased, and likely take punitive action against any Airbnb host that is exploiting their system, & giving a black-eye to the reputation of us Good Airbnb Hosts & positive Redding ambassadors. I resent these hosts, with their multiple properties, who have made trouble for us, when the possible restrictive  regulation outcome will not address or impact their behavior, but punish us, instead.  I hope that the City Council is wise enough to understand this and do the sensible thing: apply a measure for us to be  “legit” in paying T.O.T fee, and impose No regulations on Airbnb hosts.  This is a new age, in this Sharing economy.  Perhaps , Redding can be a rational example to other cities,  of how to fairly deal with Airbnb’s.

     

    • Avatar K Beck says:

      My guess is that ALL cities have city ordinances  that differentiate Business districts from Residential  districts. Yes, you own (or are purchasing) the house and the lot the house sits on. You do not own the whole neighborhood. In residential districts people are normally not allowed to operate a business. For one thing, the streets are not designed for traffic heavier than people going to and from their homes. I suspect they average about 2-4 cars/household when they design residential neighborhoods. In neighborhoods with cul de sacs 4 autos/house would be way too many already. Also, Residential districts are not meant for delivery trucks. Hence, the no businesses designation. Airbnb is a business. Businesses are required to obtain business licenses. Why should you be exempt from that regulation? Just because you want to be exempt?

      Buy a house on 5 acres and set up an Airbnb. No one would probably mind that at all. If you live in a housing development you have basically agreed to follow the law. I am sure you have a 50 page document that sets the boundaries for living in the development where you purchased your house. I have one and my house is really old.

      The “Bethel Houses,” as they are called, fall into a different business category. They are houses for rent. A different set of laws apply. People complaining about that need to get the rental laws changed. I am not defending these rentals, I lived across a cul de sac from one for 2 years. I understand the problem. I, too, was renting and didn’t plan to stay there for any length of time. Had I owned a house there I would have been at the city offices trying to get the rental laws changed.

      So, in essence just because you “own” your house you do not have the right to do whatever you want in or around your house.

      You chose to live in a “community” having done that there are regulations for living there.

      What do your neighbors think about your short term rentals?

      • Avatar Bruce says:

        What do your neighbors think about your short term rentals?

        Great question! I am a few doors down from Doni.  Across the street and three or four houses down the other way, another neighbor rents out spare space via Airbnb.

        It’s really not created the least problem.  I wouldn’t have even known unless they mentioned it. I mean, sometimes there are unusual cars parked on the block, but people have guests all the time.

         

      • Avatar Lacy Lamoire says:

        I am speechless…. Your editorial and your readers’ responses for your total disregard of running a BUSINESS out of your home, wreaks of entitlement!

        The little investment a homeowner (also-NOT renters who are subletting) which has been introduced from the new ordinance for “homestays” that the Advisory Board introduced to Planning and now Council are so insignificant to you airbnb hosts, it is unbelievable that you are whining about it!!! Maybe YOU only have 50 guests a year, but you multiply that by 205* (*Sept.total) homestays and there’s your loss of city taxes to help our community with police, fireman, street cleaners, garbage pickup and of course, Redding’s Visitor’s Bureau who advertises the city’s amenities to COME HERE and spend their money. $$$

        I suggest all the “wanna-be” bed & breakfast (or “airbnb hosts”), get their act together and BE a business owner, (newsflash: you ARE a business!), and get your county health department inspections, pay what? $50 for a business license, and for god’s sake, contribute to your local city, county and state for all those amenities you enjoy, as you so love to live in Redding, Doni.

        Honestly everyone, it’s not about the parking, so much as it represents the entitled people in this town to ignore the responsibilities of owning and operating a business out of your home! It’s NOT going to cost you that much, and the benefits of having a license than not, is better than you’d imagine!

        How would you like it if there were 205 car repairmen in Redding working out of their garages? In your neighborhood? Oh, and they don’t have a business license, or health inspection, or permits or fees to pay for THAT business? Huh? would you like that!?!

        There are LAWS ABOUT HAVING A BUSINESS OUT OF YOUR HOME FOR REASONS, LOTS AND LOTS OF REASONS! And if you have done the math, Doni, 14 nights at $100 would pay for a license for the rest of your airbnb career.

        Also, in closing, almost every city in America is having ordinances changed regarding AIRBNB, because of good cause: it’s illegal (city), deceitful (neighbors), pretentious (yep), and entitled owners (pay up!). (99% of airbnb hosts do not have proper insurance for this business!)

        Have FUN with everyone Doni, because all bed and breakfast owners have the same story you told in your editorial. We drive our guests to the Sundial Bridge, give them menus for all the nice restaurants in town, have maps and brochures to all the sites and sounds in our area, give them a delicious breakfast in the a.m. and speak of our city as IF we want them to move here…

        The Advisory Board truly hopes and prays the city will adopt this SIMPLE ordinance, and I know code enforcement will enforce it vigorously, as will Airbnb!

        Thanks, I’ll get off my pedestal now… Lacy Lamoire ~ Redding’s Bed & Breakfast ~ Since 1985

         

        • Avatar K. Beck says:

          I agree! Nice that I am not the lone wolf here!

          A business is a business (doesn’t matter what you want to call it) and it should follow all the business laws. I don’t own a B&B, or a hotel, and I don’t rent out rooms in my house.

          “Proper insurance”, I was wondering about that, too. Does a “hosts” home owners insurance cover AB&B “guests”? My guess is if an AB&B “guest” (who is not really a “guest” since they are paying to stay there) is injured while staying in someone’s home, who is liable if the person is injured in the AB&B house? Does AB&B have insurance policies available for their hoteliers? What if a “guest” gets food poisoning? If people are paying to eat at your home, don’t you have to have kitchen inspections just as restaurants have health inspections? What if the guest starts a fire and burns down, not only the AB&B house but the houses next door? Who pays?

  14. Avatar Michael Stearman says:

    I have yet to rent thru AirBnB, but I like that there is an alternative to hotels. I think you may rethink the wording “… very nature of government is to impose laws and regulations, so city staff and the Planning Commissioners are just doing their job.” In this case, one of the problems of Redding Govt is how to properly do their job. If making new laws and imposing more taxes is the limit of their creative thinking, then they are part of the flaws you mentioned earlier. If they were to relax their regulatory sphincters enough to realize that money not spent on satisfying new taxes make their way into the local economy as you suggested, then they would be known as forward thinkers who have the capacity to do more to make Redding the place it really deserves to be!

  15. Avatar Canda Williams says:

    Very enlightening article, Doni.  I pray the City Council votes against the draft ordinance.  Sounds like pure harassment to me!

    • Avatar Lacy Lamoire says:

      It’s funny Canda, that neither you nor any of Doni’s friends know or understand the facts of the ordinance and it’s SIMPLE rules and regulations that have come to light regarding over 200 hosts in the Redding area.

      Doni either does not understand about owning a business out of her home, and it is a business, nor the repercusions of everyone (200+) doing this in all neighborhoods around Redding.

      How would you like it if today 200+ mechanics took their business to their own garages in every neighborhood? No license, no permits, no fees or health dept., doing this every day… with trucks, tow trucks coming in and out, all that noise, and I’m sure it’s not a pretty sight…. in YOUR neighborhood, even with CC&R’s? I think not!

      Airbnb is definitely a good business. And the City Council will definitely see it as just that, a business you are running out of your home. All cities have rules for Residential Home Businesses for a lot of reasons, LOTS of reasons!

      Tell Doni you’d like to see her get legal and donate to organizations, have proper insurance (or she’s screwed), and be inspected by the health department. She’s making $, so why doesn’t she want to contribute to the city, state and county? Are all the “illegal airbnb hosts” playing the “entitled” card? wow!

      Getting off my pedestal now… Lacy Lamoire ~ Redding’s Bed & Breakfast ~ Since 1985

      • Entitled card? Illegal Airbnb hosts?

        Lacy, as you may recall, the city of Redding wouldn’t even allow Airbnb or VRBO folks  – even those who tried – to contribute TOT fees to the city before now because it turns out that technically, it’s not legal to run short-term rentals out of one’s home. Fair enough. In part, this is what this process is all about. So, your statement telling me and others to  “get legal” is ludicrous, because that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

        As you know from the last planning commission meeting, EVERY single Airbnb person who spoke before the planning commission welcomed the opportunity to pay TOT fees. We are fine with that.

        What many of us are protesting is what we see as unreasonably high – and in some cases unnecessary – fees and restrictions that extend beyond the collected TOT … regulations that may shut down perfectly wonderful Airbnb opportunities for both the hosts who bring so much to this community’s economy, and the guests who to choose private Airbnb homes over traditional hotels, motels and bed and breakfast businesses.

        Granted – the good of the community aside – for some long-time bed and breakfast owners, the loss of Airbnb homes might be celebrated, because the fewer Airbnb and VRBO hosts in Redding, the less competition.

         

         

         

  16. Avatar Terry Turner says:

    What an informative article, Doni.  I didn’t know about Airbnb. I think it’s a great idea.

    Instead of our innumerable homeless encampments, transients, drugs, crime and fed-up people moving out of Redding, how great it was to read about the lovely Airbnb customers who come and enjoy the beauty and activities of our Northstate home!  Your article reminded me of the reasons I am glad to live here.  Thank you.  I think having wonderful visitors to Redding can only improve our community.  Keep up the good work.  

    Good luck with the City Council, Doni!

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