Danville officials vote to ban short-term Airbnb rentals

Bay City News
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DANVILLE, Calif. -- Short-term rentals through online services such as Airbnb were banned in the town of Danville in decisive Town Council vote on Tuesday.

Danville's Town Council voted 4-1 to pass an ordinance banning the operation of short-term rentals, which is defined as any rental of a residence of less than 30 days.

Town officials reported that at any given time there are around 15 short-term rentals on the market in Danville.

The ordinance was considered based on worries expressed by residents about possible problems these rentals could bring to Danville, according to town officials.

Representatives of the local hotel business spoke in favor of the ban in front of the Town Council Tuesday, calling the short-term renters an "unlegislated competitor."

There were also a number of residents who argued the short-term rental system was not consistent with what they believe is the character of their town.

Pat Reed, a former Airbnb renter in Danville, was among the few dissenters.

She told the town council she thought some worries cited with regard to local short-term rentals -- including parking, noise and crime problems, even extremes such as human trafficking -- were ridiculous.

"I've seen teenagers hosting parties causing way more commotion than any short-term renter," she said.

Reed said it was difficult to see how 16 short-term renters in a 16,000-home community could bring such an impact.

In the Nov. 3 election, a San Francisco ballot measure to add restrictions to short-term rentals was defeated. San Francisco-based Airbnb fiercely opposed the measure, Proposition F, and reportedly spent around $8 million to help defeat it.

As far as Danville's ordinance, Airbnb officials provided a statement saying, "Many cities in California are reviewing proposals to enable hosts to share their homes. We are continuing to highlight the importance of fair rules with leaders throughout California."