Tulloch vacation-rental regs back

Written by Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat April 15, 2013 11:51 am

A flaw in the noticing process for implementation of new restrictions on short-term vacation rentals at Tulloch Reservoir will trigger another vote April 23 on the ordinance.

Calaveras County Planning Director Rebecca Willis said new ordinances require a published notice five days before a public hearing and 15 days after a “yes” vote. Though supervisors thought their 3-2 vote in favor of the rules Tuesday was the final one, Willis said the law requires a re-vote.

Supervisors Debbie Ponte, Darren Spellman and Chris Wright voted in favor of both the introduction and adoption of the ordinance in the past month. Supervisors Merita Callaway and Cliff Edson both opposed in each case.

There were audible groans from the board when Willis informed them at the end of Tuesday’s meeting of a possible need for a re-do. She confirmed that need in a phone interview Thursday. 

The proposed ordinance has been amended numerous times and invited hours of public testimony, appearing on most board meeting agendas since three newly elected supervisors took office in January. Save for perhaps the Sawmill Lake development in Copperopolis, it has been the most contentious issue the largely new board has faced.

The ordinance requires rental owners to apply for an administrative use permit, submit plans for the home’s layout to determine its capacity, implements off-street parking limits and emergency contact requirements for rented homes by the popular summer destination.

The added delay further ensures little impact on activities at the reservoir this summer which neighbors said have grown too loud and out of control.

Willis said the publication is now lined up for a vote on the ordinance at the next supervisors’ meeting April 23. If approved, it will take effect on May 23.

Homeowners must apply right away to offer their homes as rentals, she said, but a 90-day amortization schedule means the controversial capacity and parking sections will not be an issue until next year’s summer tourist season.

“We do need them to apply so we know who they are,” Willis said.