Transfer – Hotel

 

 


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In case you have not heard of “instant book” on Airbnb, I had not. It appears this is a fairly new system where hosts are not able to do any vetting of their renters. The opposition loves to tout how they make sure their renters are practically background checked prior to arrival. “Instant book” means they have no idea who these people are staying in our neighborhood. Although I don’t believe they really ever did. I am curious how they are going to refute their lack of knowledge of their renters while using instant book.

 

STR’s may have started out as someone renting a spare room from time to time, now a much higher percentage are owned by non-resident owners, many of whom own entire chains of STR’s.  Hedge funds and major investment banks are involved now, especially as Air BnB grew in to a $30 billion dollar company.

 

Malibu_s Summer Rental Market Booms – WSJ

 

Hoteliers Cast Airbnb as Fast-Growing

Professional Rival

Industry analysis characterizes website as more like a sophisticated rental operation than a casual business

By CHRIS KIRKHAM and GREG BENSINGER Updated March 9, 2017 10:07 p.m. ET

In its quest to prove Airbnb Inc. is more than a casual home-sharing service, the hotel industry issued a stinging analysis of the website that casts the company more like a professional short-term rental operation.

The report released Thursday found that Airbnb hosts who rent out two or more properties in a single month represent the fastest- growing segment of the company’s revenue in the U.S. The analysis, conducted by real-estate firm CBRE and funded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group, analyzed two years’ worth of Airbnb listings and revenue generated across the U.S.

The researchers found that revenue from hosts who operated two or more entire properties on the platform in 2016 nearly tripled from a year earlier, growing to more than $1.8 billion from about $611 million. Those multiunit hosts accounted for nearly a third of all U.S. revenue on Airbnb during a one-year period from October 2015 through September 2016, according to the analysis, up from about 25% a year earlier.

The findings come as cities around the world have battled with the short-term rental website, arguing Airbnb provides a platform for illegal hotel operators. Clashes in many cities have centered on the growing number of units that are operated year-round as nightly

rentals, often run by investors or sophisticated property managers.

The hotel industry has been at the forefront of lobbying for stricter regulations on Airbnb that it says are needed to put the service on a level playing field with traditional hotels. Airbnb has launched a lobbying offensive of its own in recent years aimed at fighting new regulations or seeking compromises that allow the company to continue operating.

Airbnb often says its service is ideal for middle-class families looking to make ends meet by renting a spare room or their homes for a weekend here or there. But the researchers at CBRE said their analysis runs counter to that assertion.

“Airbnb has been saying they don’t really want that group to be the main driver of their growth, that they want it to be people sharing their own

homes,” said Jamie Lane, a senior economist with CBRE Hotels research. “But the data clearly shows the opposite trend: that operators and hosts are taking a more commercial approach.”

Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas called the study a “misleading, inaccurate report” that was “bought and paid for by the big hotels.” He called the effort “the latest example of the industry’s willingness to say and do anything to protect their record profits,

preserve their ability to price gouge consumers and squash their competition.”

Mr. Papas also questioned the study’s methodology, pointing to what he said were problems in how it defined metropolitan areas, as well as

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Hoteliers Cast Airbnb as Fast-Growing Professional Rival – WSJ 7/3/17, 9(19 PM

data on how frequently given listings are booked, which is proprietary. He said the report also failed to account for hoteliers that use the platform to advertise rooms, which he said would add thousands of listings.

Mr. Lane said CBRE’s report didn’t define operators based on how frequently their listings are booked. Rather, he said the report looked at only whether operators were renting out two or more entire homes, and analyzed data indicating whether a unit was booked or empty on any given night.

He added that most hotel rooms advertised on the site would show up as single rooms, not entire homes.

Separately, Airbnb closed a $1 billion funding round that values the company at $31 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. It has raised more than $3 billion since it was founded in 2008.

The CBRE report used data from Airdna, a company that gathers details on the types of properties and room rates from Airbnb’s web listings. CBRE focused on Airbnb hosts that operate two or more entire properties, not listings such as an individual room in a house.

RELATED

Airbnb Valued at $31 Billion After New Funding Round

The researchers said that approach allowed them to zero in on listings that aren’t likely to be owner-occupied

units. In the period between October 2015 and September 2016, multiunit Airbnb hosts represented 7% of all hosts, but 20% of all units and 32% of all revenue generated.

“That is not home sharing; that’s a business,” said Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The number of units managed by multiunit Airbnb hosts grew in all of the top 13 markets CBRE analyzed from 2015 to 2016, but the growth was particularly notable in Nashville, Oahu and New Orleans, where the number of such units more than doubled.

Many landlords, particularly in tourist destinations such as Los Angeles, Nashville and New Orleans, have discovered that Airbnb and similar companies like Expedia Inc.’s HomeAway enable them to profit more by keeping dwellings ostensibly unoccupied and renting them by the night rather than offering long-term leases.

That has led to consternation among some neighborhood and tenant associations due to a constant influx of guests, who may have raucous

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Hoteliers Cast Airbnb as Fast-Growing Professional Rival – WSJ 7/3/17, 9(19 PM

parties or cause damage to buildings’ public areas.

In Nashville, local officials are considering a measure that would phase out short-term rentals that aren’t occupied by owners. The move comes as Nashville gained a reputation as a hotbed for bachelor and bachelorette parties, leading to a proliferation of home rentals in traditional single-family neighborhoods.

John Stern, president of the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, which supports measures to slow the growth of such rentals, said constant parties have unnerved neighbors.

“It’s the commercialization of residential property, and that doesn’t have a place in our neighborhoods,” he said.

Amy Walters, president and chief executive of Playlist Properties, a Nashville short-term rental operator that lists on Airbnb and other sites, said the biggest problem is that rules on the books aren’t properly enforced. The city already requires companies such as hers to be licensed and meet certain standards, and she said she has always complied.

But Ms. Walters said there are just as many unregulated properties in the city that aren’t shut down.

“I want the bad guys shut down, because they’re making us look bad,” she said. “But instead they’re lumping us all into one big basket and saying ‘Get rid of them all.’ ”

Airbnb has instituted what it calls a “One Host, One Home” policy in some cities such as Portland, Ore., and New York, which bars hosts from having multiple listings on its site simultaneously. But policing the rule can be difficult, with some hosts simply creating multiple accounts to service each of their rentals.

The company faced one of its biggest setbacks last year when legislators in New York voted to increase fines to as much as $7,500 on New York City hosts who advertise rentals of less than 30 days in multiunit buildings, a violation of city codes since 2010. Airbnb has said it hopes to reach a compromise that would free up hosts who occasionally rent their apartments for extra income.

It also yielded to pressure in London and Amsterdam, two of its largest European markets, by placing limits on the number of days hosts can rent out a home each year: 90 days in London and 60 days in Amsterdam.

Write to Chris Kirkham at chris.kirkham@wsj.com and Greg Bensinger at greg.bensinger@wsj.com

Court Holding STR Not a Residential Use – British Columbia

2018 BCSC 752 Nanaimo (Regional District) v. Saccomani

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

Nanaimo (Regional District) v. Saccomani,

2018 BCSC 752

 

     A. OVERVIEW

[2] The respondents provide vacation rental home accommodation in a zone that allows for “residential use”, “secondary suite”, and “home based business” (collectively referred to as “permitted uses”). They have been doing so since at least 2013. The vacation rental home is situated on beachfront property in Nanoose Bay. The area has an active vacation home rental market. However, this is the first time that the Regional District has sought such an injunction.

 

[4] The petitioner says that its Zoning Bylaw should be interpreted to exclude vacation home rental in the residential zone in which the respondents’ property lies.

[5] The respondents argue that their use of the property for vacation home rental is permissible within a broad interpretation of the term “residential use”. They say that this is the only reasonable interpretation having regard to the Regional District’s failure to expressly prohibit vacation rental home properties in an area where such uses are prevalent. They further argue that the petitioner’s interpretation of the Zoning Bylaw to exclude vacation rental properties in the residential zone runs afoul of the principles restricting municipalities from regulating land on the basis of user versus use.

 

   C. FACTS

[11] The Property is zoned Residential 1 (RS1) under the Zoning Bylaw enacted by the Regional District.

[12] The respondents purchased the Property as a future retirement home. They do not live in it. Rather, they use it as a vacation home for themselves, friends and family. For substantial periods of time the Property is rented to members of the public or tourists, as temporary vacation accommodation. The respondents have been renting the Property for this purpose since at least 2013.

[13] In 2017, the Property was booked for vacation rental for 116 days with each individual booking ranging from three to eight nights. The Property is currently booked for rental during the 2018 season, with the last booking ending on the first weekend of September 2018. When the Property is not booked for rental, it is empty, except for those times when the respondents or their family and friends use it.

 

[14] The petitioner first became aware that the respondents were using the Property as a vacation home rental in June 2016, when they received a complaint from a neighbour. Ardella Freko, the neighbour, owns a home next door to the respondents, where she and her husband reside.

[15] Ms. Freko’s complaint encompasses alleged noise violations, traffic congestion, and safety concerns related to strangers peering into her windows and leaving a fire untended on the beach. She says that often because of the noise she has had to retreat indoors from her patio, and is hesitant to invite friends to the patio area because of the fluctuating noise levels from the renters staying at the respondents’ Property.

[16] According to Ms. Freko she has only seen the respondents at the Property approximately three times in the past four years. The respondents say that this is because they often stay at the Property when Ms. Freko is not there.

[17] While investigating Ms. Freko’s complaint, the Regional District of Nanaimo Bylaw Enforcement Officer, John Eubank, discovered that the Property was advertised on a vacation rental booking website hosted by “Vacation Rental By Owner” (VRBO).

Does Residential Use Include Vacation Rental

[32] An examination of the Zoning Bylaw as a whole, together with dictionary definitions, suggests that the broad purpose of the RS1 Zone is to ensure that the residential nature of a neighbourhood is maintained by permitting only compatible uses for properties contained within the RS1 Zone. Indeed, although commercial activities such as a home based business and secondary suite accommodation are permitted in the RS1 Zone, these activities are narrowly defined and must be ancillary to the primary use, which is residential.

  1. [33]  The Zoning Bylaw defines the following key terms:residential use means the accommodation and homelife of a person or persons in common occupancy, and shall only be conducted within a dwelling unit;dwelling unit means one self-contained unit contained within common walls with a separate entrance intended for year-round occupancy and the principal use of such dwelling unit is residential with complete living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation;home-based business means an economic activity conducted as an accessory use on a parcel;secondary suite means one or more habitable rooms and a cooking facility for residential accommodation, consisting of a self-contained unit with a separate entrance but which is clearly accessory to a principal dwelling unit located on the same parcel as the secondary suite and may not be subdivided under the Strata Property Act;accessory use means a use combined with but clearly incidental and ancillary to the principle permitted uses of land, buildings or structures located on the same parcel.
  2. [34]  The use of the term “homelife” suggests that residential use must be non-transient. It is embodied by those who live on the property and use it as their habitual abode.

[35] Respondents’ counsel relies on the following definition of “home life” found in the English Oxford Living Dictionary, (online):

A person’s family, personal relationships, and domestic interest considered as a whole. ‘A stable home life for their families’

[36] The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th ed, defines “home” as follows:
1.a. the place where one lives; the fixed residence of a family or household.

b. a dwelling house.

[37] Counsel for the petitioner relies on the definition of “home” from Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. which reads as follows:

One’s own dwelling place; the house in which one lives; especially the house in which one lives with his family; the habitual abode of one’s family; a dwelling house.”

[38] There is a common theme in these dictionary definitions, which suggests that a home is the fixed or habitual residence of a person and their family. “Home life” then consists of more than just the physical activities that are conducted on a property (e.g. cooking, eating, sleeping) – they are activities that are performed by family members or individuals who share a domestic interest.

[39] The incorporation of a shared domestic interest into the definition of home life is consistent with the broader definition of residential use contained in the Zoning Bylaw, which requires that a person or persons living within a dwelling unit, conduct their home life together in “common occupancy”.

[40] The non-transient interpretation of “home life” is also apparent when the Zoning Bylaw is read as a whole. While various tourist and temporary accommodations are expressly permitted in other zones (e.g. “Inn”, “Hotel”, “Guest Accommodation”) the only tourist accommodation permitted expressly in an RS1 zone is the accessory use of the Property as a home based bed and breakfast business. However such use is permitted only within clearly defined parameters.

[41] Section 3.3(14)(a)(iii) provides that as a part of “home based business activities”, usage of a property for a bed and breakfast is permitted, “provided the activity is contained wholly within the dwelling unit to a maximum of 2 bedrooms in Residential 1 and 3 zones and to a maximum of 4 bedrooms and all other zones where permitted by this Bylaw.” The Zoning Bylaw defines bed and breakfast as follows:

bed and breakfast means the economic activity of providing bedrooms within a dwelling unit and the first meal of the day for the temporary accommodation of the travelling public; provided that the occupancy by a member of the travelling public does not exceed 120 days in any calendar year.

 

[42] Existing jurisprudence also supports the interpretation of residential activity being non-transient. Numerous courts have held that the definition of “residential” precludes temporary lodging. In Kamloops (City) v. Northland Properties Ltd., 2000 BCCA 344 at para. 15, the Court stated that “it appears the intention of the bylaw is to permit units to be occupied by persons who normally reside there and to prohibit their occupation by tourists, travellers, and other persons who require only temporary lodging…” See also Conconi at para. 30; Regional District Fraser-Fort George v. Norlander (2 April 2014), Victoria 13-2936 (B.C.S.C.) at paras. 15, 24-26, aff’d 2015 BCCA 439.

[43] In Conconi at para. 14, the Court referred to its decision in Whistler (Resort Municipality) v. Miller, 2001 BCSC 100 at para. 51, aff’d 2002 BCCA 347 [Miller], and noted the importance of residential zoning in order to ensure compatible uses:

The principal purpose of zoning regulations, as with restrictive covenants, is to preserve property values by prohibiting uses which are believed to be deleterious to neighbourhoods mainly residential in character. People living in an area of single family homes naturally want the same type of homes in the district, that is, a use that is compatible. They want to preserve the amenities of their locality. Thus from the standpoint of the rate payers it is the status quo that is sought to be maintained and build up residential areas which are figuratively rimmed with “keep out” signs. Industry, always an unwelcome intruder in a residential community, also favours a zoning wall that bars residential and other incompatible encroachments.

[44] Vacation rental properties can change the character and nature of a residential neighbourhood. Vacationers do not share the same long term goals that residents in a particular zone have – to have a comfortable, stable and secure environment in which they can live, work and play. While members of the travelling public may share the recreational aspects of these goals, their short term focus runs contrary to the long term goals of the residents.

[45] A resident who makes their home life in the dwelling unit is accountable to neighbours. There is strong motivation to be a good neighbour, one who is willing to self-regulate negative behaviours such as excessive traffic and noise. As is evidenced by Ms. Freko’s reports of noise violations, traffic congestion, and safety concerns, the same constraints do not apply to members of the travelling public. Even where owners of the vacation rental property include codes of conduct as part of the rental contracts (such as was done by the respondents), these may have little impact on curbing the behaviour of vacationers. This does not mean that noise violations or traffic congestion do not occur in residential zones that do not have vacation rental properties. To the contrary. However, such conduct is constrained when persons feel accountable to the other residents in a neighbourhood. Such accountability simply does not exist for members of the travelling public.

[46] Understandably, then, while s. 3.3(14)(a)(iii) of the Zoning Bylaw permits transient accommodation of bed-and-breakfasts within the residential zone, it does so within clearly defined parameters which dictate that such use must be ancillary, contained within a specific number of  rooms, and for a limited time frame.

[48] As noted by the court in Re Convenience Services Ltd. v. City of Sault Ste. Marie et al., 118 D.L.R. (3d) 362 (On SC) to be subordinate, the use must be carried on to enhance the principal use of the property (cited with approval in Re M M Project Management Services Inc., 2012 BCSC 47, at para. 79; and Corman Park (Rural Municipality No. 344), 121 Sask R 212 (SK QB), at paras. 29- 31). In the case at bar, the vacation rental use does not enhance the principal use which is residential; rather it replaces residential use with a vacation rental use that is not permitted in the bylaws.

[49] The respondents’ argument that renting out the Property for temporary accommodation forms part of the normal and customary residential use, is also not supported by the evidence or the case authorities. First, the Property is not their habitual residence. The respondents maintain their primary residence in Alberta. They therefore cannot consider the Property as being a dwelling unit for themselves.

[50] Second, as aptly noted by the Court in Whistler (Resort Municipality) v. Wright, 2003 BCSC 1192 at para. 51 [Wright], “[i]n order for property to be used as ‘residential’ property, it must be a fixed place of living, not a revolving door.”

[51] I therefore conclude that the respondents’ use of the Property as a vacation rental is not a permitted use under the Regional District’s Zoning Bylaw. As such, by operating their Property as a vacation home rental, the petitioners are in breach of the Zoning Bylaw.

 

[48] As noted by the court in Re Convenience Services Ltd. v. City of Sault Ste. Marie et al., 118 D.L.R. (3d) 362 (On SC) to be subordinate, the use must be carried on to enhance the principal use of the property (cited with approval in Re M M Project Management Services Inc., 2012 BCSC 47, at para. 79; and Corman Park (Rural Municipality No. 344), 121 Sask R 212 (SK QB), at paras. 29- 31). In the case at bar, the vacation rental use does not enhance the principal use which is residential; rather it replaces residential use with a vacation rental use that is not permitted in the bylaws.

[49] The respondents’ argument that renting out the Property for temporary accommodation forms part of the normal and customary residential use, is also not supported by the evidence or the case authorities. First, the Property is not their habitual residence. The respondents maintain their primary residence in Alberta. They therefore cannot consider the Property as being a dwelling unit for themselves.

[50] Second, as aptly noted by the Court in Whistler (Resort Municipality) v. Wright, 2003 BCSC 1192 at para. 51 [Wright], “[i]n order for property to be used as ‘residential’ property, it must be a fixed place of living, not a revolving door.”

[51] I therefore conclude that the respondents’ use of the Property as a vacation rental is not a permitted use under the Regional District’s Zoning Bylaw. As such, by operating their Property as a vacation home rental, the petitioners are in breach of the Zoning Bylaw.


MCVRA & Airbnb Meetup – Monterey County Vacation Rental Alliance Meeting – Meetups on Airbnb

Claim by MCVRA: STRs are a “commercial” use hence not permitted in a residential area.

 

 

In Anaheim, on West Skywood Circle, a six-bedroom home about six miles from Disneyland rents for an average of $617 a night. Under city code, the home can accommodate no more than 20 people. But in a recent online review, a tenant bragged about squeezing 34 people into the home.  “We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this gorgeous home,” the reviewer said.

In  February 2015, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) approved the amended Land Use Plan for Trinidad CA. The CCC stated, “The amendment addresses occupancy of residences by tourists for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes, which by definition, comprises residential use.”

We believe that since the Trinidad letter was issued that events on the ground show that the Coastal Commission erred in this position.  The CC definition of used by “tourists for dwelling, sleeping or lodging purposes” is equally true of hotels, motels and B&B’s.  The only difference is that STR’s are allowed to discriminate against the handicapped, have no protections for neighbors from loud parties and other offensive behaviors that are controlled at hotels, and otherwise unfairly compete.

 

STR’s as they are practiced today are commercial businesses.  The evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible.  See: STR’s are hotels

 

 

 

July 30, 2012, by email to 17 neighbors.

This person responded:

If you wish to designate ONE person and only one person who will communicate with us or our attorney for your group,  our attorney might find that acceptable.  Any contact with people that we do business with maligning us without ALL the information is SLANDER and Tortious Interference.   You are breaking laws in the manner in which you are trying to frame us.  Choose two people for us to communicate with that represents your group. We will choose the person that we feel is the most appropriate to communicate with out of your chosen ones.

(   Tortious interference with business relationships occurs where the tortfeasor acts to prevent the plaintiff from successfully establishing or maintaining business relationships. This tort may occur when a first party’s conduct intentionally causes a second party not to enter into a business relationship with a third party that otherwise would probably have occurred. Such conduct is termed tortious interference with prospective business relations, expectations, or advantage or with prospective economic advantage.)
Thank you, Susan Bradley



If a home has the same impact – or worse – on a residential area as a hotel or B&B, than it is not a residential use.

 

  • If a person makes the a significant percentage of their income, or pays a significant percentage of the mortgage from rental income, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If it is offered to the public in general, but increases leach field, water, parking, noise, or brings strangers to the neighborhood on a regular basis, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If it increases security concerns over and above a typical residence, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If the neighbors have to work through an on-call property manager to handle neighborhood fire, safety, or other neighborhood issues, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If they are competing with licensed hotels and B&B’s, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If they are represented by a trade group that offers “Hotel-like” accommodations, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If the aggregate number of STR’s being allowed is a significant percentage of the licensed visitor serving accommodations, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If an STR takes other homeowners rights to quiet enjoyment of their homes, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If the STR has evicted families and working people to convert to STR’s, it is not a residential use.

 

  • If the STR rents itself out for special events, it is not a residential use.

 

From the LUP:

 

Page 92

 

  1. Commercial
  2. Commercial land use in the Carmel Coastal Segment shall be restricted to those locations of existing and proposed visitor-serving accommodations shown on the land use plan map or described in the text. Additional commercial designation of property is not compatible with the intent of this land use plan to preserve the natural and scenic character of the area.
  1. Renewal of use permits for existing commercial uses or the establishment of new uses will require careful consideration of the impact of the use on the surrounding community. Particularly where commercial activities are in proximity to residences, care must be taken to ensure that noise or visual modification do not affect the peace and tranquillity of existing neighbors.

 

 

 

Page 94

  1. Recreation and Visitor-Serving Commercial

Moderate to high-intensity uses providing basic support services and accommodations to meet visitor needs associated with coastal recreation and travel are appropriate. Major hotel or inn accommodations are principal uses. Such uses shall be subject to the policies of section 4.4.3-D.

 

 

 

 

Page 94-5

  1. Low-Density Residential

94

Low-density residential development is the primary use of this category. Agricultural land uses are limited in order to decrease cumulative erosion and water quality impacts. The establishment of impervious surface will be limited to a set percentage of the parcel size. Maximum densities ranging from 1 unit per 2.5 acres to 1 unit per acre would be allowed according to site evaluation of slope and natural resource, septic system and public facility constraints. This land use designation is applied to CarmelHighlands-Riviera. Public/quasi-publicuses(5.5.1)anddensitiesofovernightaccommodations currently in operation are permitted.

 

 

Page 96

28 total VSU (Lower Area of Point Lobos) in addition to exisiing

  • The noise levels contemplated in the Planning Commission “Committeee” are louder than those permitted adjacent to a Los Angeles freeway and entirely incompatible with visitor or resident experience in the Coastal Zone;

 

  1. The Planning and Coastal Commissions do not have the authority to divert up to 2.6 million gallons of water per day from existing homes and businesses in Monterey County. Coastal Commission and Committee positions are in direct conflict with the “Water Availability” provisions of the Carmel Land Use Plan, Local Coastal Plan which states[1]:

 

New development shall be approved only where it can be demonstrated by the applicant that adequate water is available from a water utility or community system or an acceptable surface water diversion, spring, or well. At the County’s discretion, applicants may be required to submit a hydrologic report certifying sustained yield of the water source to serve new development outside of existing water utility service areas.

 

As part of the permit process, the applicant must also demonstrate that the proposed new water use or use intensification will not adversely affect both the natural supply necessary to maintain the environment, including wildlife, fish, and plant communities, and the supply available to meet the minimum needs of existing users during the driest year.At the County’s discretion, the applicant may be required to support his application through certification by a consultant deemed qualified by the County to make such determinations. The County will request that the Department of Fish and Game provide a written recommendation on each application

 

 

 

  1. Increased traffic from Short-Term Rentals is in direct contradiction with the Federal Department of Transportation National Scenic Byways Program.

 

  1. The Big Sur Coast Highway was declared the first State Scenic Highway in 1965. In 1996 it was designated the first All American Road under the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program. Its role in providing affordable, readily available coastal access to millions of annual visitors is recognized in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. The mandate to protect the quality of the recreational driving experience is likewise addressed in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. Management of the use and capacity of Highway I  is essential to achieving the goals of the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans to provide public access to the Big Sur Coast along this scenic route and the protection of the environment and quality of the visitor experience.[1]

 

P 20

The Carmel Highlands-Riviera Master Plan sought to preserve the scenic, rural character of that community through the use of scenic easements, retention of native vegetation, and maintenance of Highway 1 as a scenic two-lane road. The Carmel Valley Master Plan (1980), like the earlier Three Ranches Plan, sought to preserve the scenic Palo Corona slopes as open space. . .  .

 

In the viability of our Carmel Area, clean air, clean water, low noise level, and open space are all important factors

 

 

 

 

P 22

Development of the Carmel area has been limited by natural constraints and hazards such as rugged terrain and difficult access; limited water; steep, unstable slopes; unsuitable soils; and fire and flood potential. The more accessible locations adjacent to Highway 1 have been the focus of residential and visitor-commercial development and use. As the most suitable areas have been developed, development has extended on to steep slopes and more hazardous areas. As the demand for housing and recreational and visitor-serving facilities in the Monterey Peninsula area has accelerated, pressure for development of less suitable land has been aggravated. The high scenic and recreational values of the area have drawn increasing numbers of visitors each year to the point that existing recreational facilities are overused and sensitive coastal resources have been damaged or degraded. Intensified land use and development will inevitably create and aggravate existing problems: wildfires, floods, landslides, pollution of water and air, depletion of water resources, and further destruction of plant, animal, and marine habitats. In essence, unrestricted or inappropriate development and increasing levels of recreational use may threaten those very amenities which draw both visitors and residents to the Carmel area.

. . .

 

The quality of experience offered by the Carmel coast should have precedence over the number or extent of any permitted uses, whether residential, recreational, or commercial. Any new development should complement the area and be compatible with the objective of careful resource protection and conservation. Conflicting uses should not be introduced. The achievement of these goals must involve restraint and continued responsibility. Both public and private interests will be best served by the continued preservation of the unique natural and cultural resources that make the Carmel coast a scenic jewel.

 

P 65

 

Coastal Act policy requires that State Highway 1 be maintained as a scenic two-lane road in rural areas such as the portion of the Carmel area south of the Carmel River. The Coastal Act also requires that remaining highway capacity be reserved for priority uses. The limited capacity of Highway 1 to accommodate local and recreation traffic at a level that affords reasonable service and emergency use as well as an enjoyable scenic recreational experience is a major concern. Traffic volumes along sections of Highway 1 are at or approaching capacity during peak use periods, and future demand is expected to exceed the capacity of Highway 1. The ultimate capacity will be a major constraint on the long-range development of the Carmel area south of the Carmel River.  . . .

 

The management objective of Highway 1 should be to optimize visitor use levels rather than maximize them. Future decisions pertaining to Highway 1 in the Carmel area must consider current recreational and residential use patterns and future demands for recreational use.

p 71

 

Single-family residences comprise a major developed land use on private land. Residential use is presently concentrated within three distinct subdivided areas comprising a total of 1,290 acres: the City of Carmel vicinity, Carmel Meadows, and Carmel Highlands-Carmel Riviera. Within these three subdivided areas there are 2,470 parcels of which approximately 2,184 or 88 percent are presently developed.

 

 

4.1.1 Residential Land Use

There are approximately 2,290 single-family residences in the Carmel area of which 98 percent are located in the three subdivided areas previously identified. These subdivided areas have generally been developed to the extent that the natural environment has been significantly altered and that the residential use is perceived as the primary use of the land. The size, density, and even character of these residential areas vary, but in all cases they are more densely developed than surrounding lands. The following discussion provides a more detailed description of each area.

Carmel Highlands-Riviera is a residential enclave occupying both sides of Highway 1 between Point Lobos Reserve and Malpaso Creek. Parcels are one-half to one acre. Of the three residential areas, Carmel Highlands is the most rural in character. It is characterized by the largest average parcel size and lowest density and lacks certain public services and facilities. The roads providing internal circulation are generally narrow, steep, and winding. Carmel Highlands is presently 70 percent built- out; that is, approximately 70 percent of the total number of existing lots have been developed. Further residential development of this area is constrained by steep slopes and shallow soils which may preclude establishment of on-site waste disposal facilities on certain lots.

 

 

P 82

 

  1. Many types of land uses found in other locations in the County are inappropriate to the Carmel area and are in conflict with protection of the rural character and the scenic and natural resources of the area and are therefore not provided for in the plan. Among these uses are intensive recreational uses such as golf, cinemas, mechanized recreation other than non- motorized bicycling and scenic driving, boating facilities; industrial and energy development – offshore or onshore; large-scale mineral extraction and commercial timber harvesting; and manufacturing other than cottage industry or art production. In general, only land uses of a character, scale or level consistent with the goal of preserving the coast’s natural beauty and tranquillity will be permitted in the Carmel area.

 

 

P 84

 

  1. Where significant expansion of existing high-cost visitor-serving facilities or development of new high-cost facilities is proposed, low to moderate-cost facilities or land suitable for such use should be provided, where feasible, as part of the development project. The development of low to moderate-cost facilities could include: hostels, overnight camping, motel units, picnic facilities, or recreational trails where appropriate.
  2. Proposals for development of new or expansion of existing recreation and visitor-serving facilities should be evaluated on an individual basis. All proposals must demonstrate consistency with the land use plan, maximum site and parcel densities, and environmental, visual, design and traffic safety constraints. The expansion and development of recreation and visitor-serving facilities should be of a scale and nature that is compatible with the natural and scenic character of the area.

Maximum intensity for “Recreation and Visitor-Serving” sites not specified elsewhere in the Plan are as follows:

86 visitor units and 12 employee units for Carmel River Inn 150 visitor units and 12 employee units for Highlands Inn 35 visitor units and 4 employee units for Tickle Pink
16 visitor units and 2 employee units for Sandpiper Inn

 

P 92

 

  1. The County shall encourage the expansion of housing opportunities in the Carmel area for low and moderate-income households. The County will:
    1. a)  Adopt an updated housing element with appropriate incentives which will help attain affordable units. This element will be the adopted standard for low and moderate income housing in the Carmel area.
    2. b)  Require employee housing, as a condition of all permits related to expansion of existing visitor facilities or the construction of new facilities, to be constructed onsite, or in the immediate vicinity, and made available to low and moderate income employees.

91

  1. c) Encourage the use of caretaker’s accommodations as an appropriate means of providing affordable housing for caretakers, ranch hands, convalescent help, and domestic employees. It is preferred that these accommodations be attached to the principal residence. Detached caretaker’s houses shall not exceed 850 square feet in size and shall be limited to parcels of 40 acres or greater. Subdivisions shall not be permitted to divide a principal residence from a caretaker’s house. Additional employee housing is permitted for priority uses (i.e., ranching) in one dormitory/bunkhouse or in temporary structures (i.e., mobile homes) consistent with all other plan policies. Only one caretakers’ unit shall be allowed on a parcel.
  2. Commercial
  1. Commercial land use in the Carmel Coastal Segment shall be restricted to those locations of existing and proposed visitor-serving accommodations shown on the land use plan map or described in the text. Additional commercial designation of property is not compatible with the intent of this land use plan to preserve the natural and scenic character of the area.
  2. Expansion of existing commercial visitor-serving facilities or development of new facilities shall be approved only where requirements for adequate parking and wastewater disposal and for protectionofnaturalresourcescanbefullysatisfied. Adequateparkingshallincludealluseson the subject site (e.g. hotel units, restaurant, employees, day use facilities).
  3. Renewal of use permits for existing commercial uses or the establishment of new uses will require careful consideration of the impact of the use on the surrounding community. Particularly where commercial activities are in proximity to residences, care must be taken to ensure that noise or visual modification do not affect the peace and tranquillity of existing neighbors.
  4. Similarly, new commercial uses or expansion of existing uses will be evaluated for their impact on traffic safety and highway capacity in the area. Parking should be screened from public views from Highway 1 as far as possible and should in no event create traffic hazards or danger for pedestrians. However, commercial uses of a recreational or visitor-serving nature shall not have their maximum permitted intensity required to be reduced because of a finding of inadequate traffic capacity on Highway 1, unless maximum permitted intensity in this plan of residential use is correspondingly reduced.

 

P 94’

 

  1. Recreation and Visitor-Serving Commercial

Moderate to high-intensity uses providing basic support services and accommodations to meet visitor needs associated with coastal recreation and travel are appropriate. Major hotel or inn accommodations are principal uses. Such uses shall be subject to the policies of section 4.4.3-D.

 

 

 

 

  1. Low-Density Residential

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Low-density residential development is the primary use of this category. Agricultural land uses are limited in order to decrease cumulative erosion and water quality impacts. The establishment of impervious surface will be limited to a set percentage of the parcel size. Maximum densities ranging from 1 unit per 2.5 acres to 1 unit per acre would be allowed according to site evaluation of slope and natural resource, septic system and public facility constraints. This land use designation is applied to CarmelHighlands-Riviera. Public/quasi-publicuses(5.5.1)anddensitiesofovernightaccommodations currently in operation are permitted.

 

 

 

P 96  see chart

 

 

See p 112

 

Residential area with a history of low public use. Trespass on private property should be discouraged and low use levels maintained.

Sensitive habitat: relatively

112

undisturbed rocky intertidal area. – Steep cliffs and rocky shoreline  pose hazards to shoreline users. – High fire hazard in area east of

Highway One.

 

 

 

 

P 116

 

6.2.2 Growth Management

A growth management program regulating the rate of recreational and residential development should be instituted in Carmel based upon natural resource protection constraints, the limited road capacity of Highway 1, and limited water systems capacity. Residential growth should be permitted to continue at the historic rate in order to permit adequate time for the County and other interested agencies to perform review of applications including detailed site analysis in cooperation with applicants. A sufficient volume of the County’s allotment of Cal-Am water will be reserved for coastal priority uses. The County will request the Carmel Sanitary District to reserve a sufficient proportion of its remaining wastewater treatment capacity for coastal priority uses. In addition, the issue of highway capacity will be reviewed during the implementation phase, and capacity will be reserved for coastal priority uses.