The Long and Short

Annee Martin is both a long-term and short-term rental operator. Her STR in Seaside is regulated by city ordinance.

Marina has been watching from the sidelines as other cities ban or regulate short-term rentals. There are no ordinances guiding the 60 or so such rentals in Marina.

“We’re trying to craft something that isn’t convoluted,” Councilmember Adam Urrutia says. “Enforcement is necessary, but we want to know what’s possible.”

Past efforts have caused stalemates, with controversy around things like whether allowing 10 percent of a block to be short-term rentals is too much or too little. The last time a draft ordinance went to council, on Aug. 7, the vote was just 2-1, with one abstention and one absence. Another ordinance is set to be heard on Sept. 4.

Dave Fleschman lives in The Dunes, which also comes with HOA restrictions. But he says there are rogue operators. “I don’t want a new neighbor every weekend,” he says. (He’s not completely against eliminating them, noting the beachside appeal of Marina.)

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Operators themselves are also hungry for regulation. Jonathan Stein, a Sacramento-based lawyer, visits town periodically. His second home is a short-term rental; he plans to eventually open a local firm and move. In anticipation of regulation, he acquired a business license and raised his rates in anticipation of a transient-occupancy tax. “I think most STR owners are like us,” Stein says. “They’re part of the community.”

Annee Martin is on the board of Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance and runs a long-term rental in East Garrison and a short-term rental in Seaside. She hopes Marina’s regulations won’t completely eliminate the market. “If we don’t enforce, the market will go underground,” making the rentals worse for neighborhoods, she says.

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Marielle Argueza is a staff writer and calendar editor for the Weekly. She covers education, immigration and culture. Additionally, she covers the areas of Marina and South County. She occasionally writes about food and runs the internship program.

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(6) comments

Ed Warton

Okay but I thought the STR was a licensed and regulated STR in Seaside, and that the LTR was in Marina? And believe you me, we have all been attending these meetings. Inaccurate you say, I don't think so, and nether do the neighbors think this I would imagine. And who was it that said STR operators were the worst people in the community, I mean besides you, I didn't? I also have first hand information, and it sort of voids out your first hand information, so we have come down to a he said, she said moment. I also wanted to mention that I have a lot of friends that do STRs, and a lot of them do it well, but that doesn't make it right now does it? Lets face it, these once residential houses became hotels when both realtors and professional managers started the trend of STRing them out, and then introduced friends and others to this pyramid scheme. We all have dreams, and sometimes some dreams aren't meant to be, if can't afford your dream (a 2nd or 3rd home or whatever), you shouldn't be purchasing it to begin with. Yes and we know about MCVRA's 2nd or 3rd survey they put out where most STR host wouldn't rent out Long-Term to community members. No problem, we just ask you not to turn our residential neighborhoods into hotel zones. Us neighbors made the biggest purchases of our lives to live with community neighbors (good & bad), not to live next door to a revolving door of nightly strangers 365 nights a year. This is telling, I like where you say "these people are like you and me and hope to live or retire here one day" (that's not me), but what I really like is when you continue with "Instead of the people who own second homes and do not rent or share." Hate to tell ya honey, some do rent, they just chose to rent out long-term, and some don't, but its NOT called SHARING when you charge an arm and a leg for your STRs Units, get out a dictionary and look up the word! And yes we all know its not just STRs causing the housing shortage, but they are a major contributing factor here and everywhere else, so remember that when you suggest to your next client that STRs are the way to go!

annee martin

I would also like to comment on the claim that these vacation rentals are taking away from affordable housing and worker housing. 90% of the owners whose house I manage are people who use their home. They are not investors. They are people like you and me who have a dream to own a home here that they could use with their families and maybe one day retire here. Instead of the people who own second homes and do not rent or share, these owners do. I believe they are acting financially responsible to not own their second home and only use it a few times a year. I started my company in 2007 to save my own home as well as to help many of my friends. I do not encourage investors to buy a home and rent it as a vacation rental as it does not make financial sense at all. I work with mostly second homeowners. When the city of Pacific Grove sent out a survey and asked the 250 vacation rental owners if they would sell their home or long term it if they could not renew their license- the large majority said they would keep it for their use and not turn it into a long term. I do know that this is not the case 100% but for the people I do mange it is. I feel those owners and also our visitors have received so much judgment and have been made to feel not welcome here. I myself who have given so much of my time and energy asking to be a community that welcomes not divides have and continues to be judged. There is so much more to this topic and I pray that we will find a way to make it work for everyone. I also pray that people will stop believing that if we were to eliminate short term rentals then we would have no or less issues regarding affordable housing. We have a big shortage of units and having 250 units that are primarily peoples second homes in Pacific Grove of 9000 people is not the primary .reason there is a shortage of affordable housing. I would rather we all start focusing on real solutions and stop blaming short term rentals for all our problems. A good reasonable and fair ordinance that holds people accountable is what is needed not a ban

annee martin

Jeffrey, Just to let you know I did not write the article. When I met with the reporter I gave her a brochure that has everything she would want to know about me and my company. She found me on next door when I posted about the short term rental in Marina in which I did disclose that I owned a vacation rental company. I think your comments are assuming alot about me and my intentions and are unfair and unfounded. I actually think having represented so many owners and going to all the meetings with the public and elected officials over the last 6 years that I have a lot to say and a perspective that weighs out both sides. I would love to meet you and carry on the conversation in person. There is alot of emotions and inaccurate information out there about short term rentals as if the people who offer them are the worst people in this community. I have first hand experience that tells me differently and hope you would be willing to have a conversation about it.

Ed Warton

Jeffery you say you STR out a room and only occasionally, how often is that if I may ask, once a month, a couple times a year or what? Annee unlike you tries to book her STRs (whole houses) out 365 days a year, and she doesn't STR out rooms, just whole houses, and either way you look at it, they are both a transient use for vacationing tourist that collect Transient Occupancy Tax, unlike a home or room for residents, so not really a residential use like so many claim. By the way, how do your STR customers get here, if not by car?

Ed Warton

I notice Annee doesn't mention that she is owner of Sanctuary Vacation Rentals, and manages around 100 or so short-term rental (vacation rental) properties in both the incorporated cities and unincorporated areas of Monterey County. Leaving out this kind of information is very misleading, and she herself is not the only person in the Vacation Rental Industry (realtors, professional (un) managers, and neighboring STR hosts) that does this. They pretty much all do, this is how they mislead our local government officials and the public into making bad decisions. And as much as they all say they don't, Short-Term Rentals do take away from our area housing, whether its a whole house or just a room, they both remove valuable housing!

Jeffrey Weekley

I occasionally rent a spare bedroom on a popular short-term rental platform. It provides a little extra income and an opportunity to meet interesting visitors. While it is less income than renting the room to a month-to-month boarder, it gives me the flexibility to decide when and how to make this space available. It doesn’t detract from the local housing rental pool, as I wouldn’t even consider taking on a long-term boarder. I’m licensed as a business and prepared to pass through the additional transient occupancy tax. There is minimal impact on my neighborhood and no complaints. Most people who stay with me choose local dining and entertainment options, and contribute to the local economy way more substantially than people who drive in for the day from the Central Valley or Bay Area. If you ask me, that’s the real nuisance - car tourists.

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