A set of proposed new requirements for short-term rental properties in unincorporated areas of Riverside County will be scrutinized by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, with compromises expected on various regulations, including occupancy limits and noise monitors.

It will be the board’s second hearing regarding amendments to the Short-Term Rental Ordinance, No. 927, following a daylong hearing on July 26, which led to the supervisors pondering various changes.

One of the main concerns was related to occupancy. The ordinance reviewed and approved by the county Planning Commission earlier this year would have mandated a maximum of two persons to each bedroom and one person per dwelling unit.

However, after debate, the supervisors reached a consensus that the baseline maximum, regardless of bedroom count, should be 10 people per residence. In some cases, as many as 16 people would be permitted, as long as California Building & Safety Code regulations are not violated. For more than 16, an on-site evaluation would be required.

The board also decided after hearing from rental operators that requiring indoor noise monitors would be overstepping, so that idea has been dropped. But outdoor noise monitors would still be required to be installed to ensure disturbances are minimized. The county’s “quiet time” rules, specifying no loud noises between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. would additionally need to be observed.

Operators would also have to notify neighbors within 300 feet that a property will be utilized for rotating rentals, and signage would have to be posted on the exterior of a property with the contact information for operators in case of problems.

Previously, the signage would had to have been visible from a roadway, but the supervisors decided that was unnecessary. The revised provisions state that the sign only be “clearly visible” on the property.

The revised ordinance would mandate that a “responsible operator” be clearly designated before a short-term rental certificate is issued by the Department of Planning. The operator could be the owner of a property, or someone selected by the owner to act as his or her representative.

Rentals would also need to have a “responsible person” on-site during the time the property is leased, and that individual could be one of the guests.

Short-term rental certificates, if approved, would be good for a year. Units defined as short-term rentals would provide temporary living space for a maximum of 30 days, but not less than one night, according to the proposed revisions. The properties would be subject to a 10% transient occupancy tax, much the same as hotels and motels.

However, the Short-Term Rental Ordinance would not apply to, or include, hotels, motels, dormitories, hostels, recreational vehicles, transitional housing facilities, camp sites and a number of other living spaces.

The application fee to establish a short-term venue would be $250 to $740, depending on the size, and annual renewals would run $100 to $540.

The revised ordinance would mandate that an operator respond within 60 minutes to complaints or emergencies; otherwise, he or she might be subject to civil penalties, and the short-term rental certificate could be revoked.

Code enforcement officers would be permitted to conduct an initial inspection of a short-term rental as part of the certificate issuance to ensure there are no health and safety violations, as well as conduct follow-up inspections as needed, according to the proposal.

The county has already established a “special enforcement team” of code enforcement officers dedicated to policing “party house” complaints on weekends and during nighttime hours.

Noise, health and other violations could result in citations of between $1,500 and $5,000, depending on the circumstances, though officers and deputies would have discretion in all cases.

In February, the board approved a $346,240 contract with San Diego-based Deckard Technologies Inc. to manage the registration of short-term rentals, keep track of tax payments and handle the production and distribution of brochures for operators.

Ordinance No. 927 was approved in January 2016, establishing basic criteria by which short-term rental property owners and agents are supposed to abide.

It was in direct response to “adverse impacts to surrounding neighbors and properties (from) unpermitted large-scale events, excessive noise, disorderly conduct, traffic congestion, illegal vehicle parking and accumulation of refuse.”

Officials said there are roughly 1,000 registered short-term rental businesses in unincorporated communities, but they believe the unregistered number could be three times that amount.

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