City of Fresno one step closer to cracking down on 'nuisance' vacation rentals

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- They're known as ways to ease the cost of travel and a source of extra income for homeowners.

Sites like Airbnb, HometoGo and Vrbo are just a few vacation home sites Fresno residents can take advantage of.

At Thursday's City Council meeting, some residents said they come at a cost to the neighborhood.

Authored by council members Paul Caprioglio and Garry Bredefeld, the introductory bill is aimed at making sure those renting vacation homes are a good neighbor to the rest of the community.

Bredefeld said, "People have had parties, they've been a nuisance in some neighborhoods and there's been no recourse to deal with homeowners."

Those hosting short-term rentals would be required to register for a business type license- giving law enforcement and first responders a way to know who the owner is, to contact them in case of emergency

They'd also have to notify homes within a 500-feet radius.

Councilmember Mike Karbassi said, "There are Airbnbs in my neighborhood. You want to know why I don't know about it, it's because those owners are responsible and don't do anything wrong."

"It looks more like something that's going to severely decrease the number of Airbnbs by imposing high barriers and burdens on these small property owners," said Councilman Esparza.

Of the more than 200 unique vacation rentals listed online, within city limits, it's unclear how many have had complaint calls, but Fresno police Captain Casto says that's exactly why the department supports the ordinance adding, "Identifying homeowners help us streamline and make calls more efficient, at the time we do get loud party calls."

Major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles already have restrictions in place - like limiting the amount of days a property can serve as a host and setting requirements for said "hosts" to meet.

Bredefeld said, "Most Airbnbs are not a problem and so we don't want to raise concerns when none exist."

Any transient occupancy taxes collected would go to code enforcement.

The introductory bill passed unanimously. There is no timeline on when a vote will take place for the final draft.
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