Tag: Planning Commission

Planning Commission Approves New Short-Term Rental Regulations

May 22, 2023 ·

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The West Hollywood Planning Commission unanimously motioned to add an amendment to the city’s current short-term vacation rental regulations at a regular meeting on May 18. 

The amendment addresses an illegal loophole that some short-term rental hosts have used, called the “bait and switch” method. This entails a host creating a listing for a short-term vacation rental, on Airbnb for example, in an area outside of West Hollywood city limits to avoid being flagged and penalized by law enforcement. Once the guest accepts the booking, the host sends them the correct address, which is located in West Hollywood. 

This can cause confusion with the guest because the location for the original listing is not correct or in use by the host. There have been incidents reported of guests showing up to a location that is not their actual destination, leaving the residents of the home confused or startled. 

According to NBC4, the decision comes as West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne says there has been an increase in people trying to list rent-stabilized apartments on the short-term rental market. There is a current ordinance that bans un-hosted short-term rentals. 

About 80 percent of West Hollywood’s 36,000 residents are renters, and some organizations and community members are concerned about the impact short-term vacation rentals have on available affordable housing. Better Neighbors of Los Angeles describe themselves as “a coalition of Southern California hosts, tenants, housing activists, hotel workers, and community members.” They operate a hotline that people can use to report illegal short-term rentals in their area. The coalition received several complaints about the “bait and switch” issue as early as last summer. 

In addition to the new amendment, the Planning Commission recommended that the West Hollywood City Council re-examine the fee structure established with short-term rental platforms. City Council will discuss both matters at a meeting set for June 26, 2023.

By Paige Strickland

Planning Commission Votes To Continue Malibu Inn Motel

April 19, 2023 ·

MALIBU—On Monday, April 17, Malibu’s Planning Commission voted to continue the Malibu Inn Motel Project until May 31. 

According to the city website, the Malibu Inn Motel, proposed to be located at 22959 Pacific Coast Highway, is for the construction of a new 7,693 square foot motel above a new subterranean parking garage, surface parking lot, grading, retaining walls, landscaping and a new onsite wastewater treatment system; including variances for non-exempt grading in excess of 1,000 cubic yards per acre of commercial development, construction on slopes steeper than 2.5 to 1, surface parking within the required front yard setback, and retaining walls in excess of six feet in height, a site plan review for a building height in excess of 18 feet, not to exceed 28 feet for a pitched roof, a conditional use permit for a new commercial development over 500 square feet and a motel in the CV-1 zoning district, and for a Joint Use Parking Agreement to share parking spaces with the adjacent lot to the east.

This item was presented by Adrian Fernandez who is the assistant planning director and applicant Don Schmitz. 

Fernandez recommended the commission to deny the proposed project as conditioned because they failed to demonstrate no other alternatives that would increase CEQA buffer and would reduce CEQA impact. The commission argued that staff did not notify the public of an alternate analysis. 

Schmitz was asked if he could provide the city with the needed documents but could not provide the specific documents he was asked. “I will do whatever is required, but before tonight this is the first that I heard from anyone that the alternative analysis that we did was somehow inadequate,” Schmitz said. “Everything that we submitted was attached to the staff report.”

The debate went on until close to midnight. 

“If we are going to have meetings that are going until 11:30 at night and we’re wasting hours and hours on things that are being talked about in circles, for all of us, it is not productive, it is not productive for our community,” commissioner Skylar Peak said. “So we need to be diligent on how we’re approaching these things … we have to be sensitive upmost to our staff time. We can’t be taking this long, pushing multiple items to other meetings, time and time again, it’s not fair for everybody.” Peak also motioned to approve the project but Commissioner Jeff Jennings argued that Peak has not had enough experience in the commission.

By Christianne