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Planning Commission Recommends Strict Rental Ordinance

Patch logo Patch 5 days ago Michael Wittner
a group of people on a beach near a body of water: The proposed ordinance will be sent back to the City Council to review. © Michael Wittner The proposed ordinance will be sent back to the City Council to review.

MALIBU, CA — The Malibu Planning Commission unanimously voted to send a renewed short-term rental ordinance, partly modeled after Santa Monica’s vacation-rental ordinance, to the City Council for review.

The proposed ordinance would require that the hosts are primary residents of Malibu, and live on the property during the rental, though not necessarily within the dwelling itself. The ordinance would also permit up to two dwelling units in a multi-family building be rented on a short-term basis without a host, as long as the other units are rented long-term.

Crucially, the proposed ordinance also requires hosts to obtain a permit that needs to be renewed annually, and permits can be denied or revoked. Under the new ordinance, the city would now have the right to fine hosts who violate the new rules.

The ordinance has been in the works for a long time, and Malibu residents have long complained about the noise and parking troubles that come with short-term rentals. At Wednesday’s meeting, numerous residents called in to say that they support stricter regulations surrounding short-term rentals. One resident advocated banning Airbnb’s altogether, but said that this ordinance would have to suffice.

Originally, the council wanted to draft a Local Coastal Program Amendment, which is required to change the use of properties in a coastal zone. But an LCP would need to be certified by the California Coastal Commission, which could take at least a year.

Yet some speakers at Wednesday’s meeting said that because an LCP doesn’t mention short-term rentals, Coastal Commission approval may not be necessary. On Wednesday, the Planning Commission decided to send the LCP matter back to the City Council.

In October 2019, a federal appeals court upheld Santa Monica’s ban on most short-term rentals.

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