STINSON BEACH (KPIX) — Marin County is considering requiring a yard sign in front of homes telling everyone around that a property is in fact a short-term rental. Some worry the signs would welcome both renters and thieves.
Short-term rentals have always been a hot-button issue, but labeling them is a first.
Bruce Wachtell has lived in Stinson Beach since 1961. He’s seen neighbors come and neighbors go.
But he’s never seen turnover like today – that happens on weekly – even weekend basis.
“This community has been gutted by investors for VRBO – and I have no problem with investment but what its doing is changing the population here,” says Wachtell.
There’s no way to know just how many short-term properties there are in Marin County.
Companies like Airbnb and VRBO don’t turn over that information.
So the Board of Supervisors is considering a one-year pilot program that would require the homes to identify themselves by a sign for everyone to see.
The signs would have to be visible from the street and have information like the owner’s tax information, business licenses, as well as contact info for either the owner or the property manager of the site.
If it passes, tourist destinations like Stinson Beach would have new signs all up and down the street.
Seadrift Realty manages about 50 vacation homes and has major concerns.
“We are opposed to the signs,” says realtor Betsy Wood. “We are afraid that would advertise that the house is vacant – there be a safety risk.”
But the signs would offer unhappy neighbors a number to call if renters go awry.
The listings also offer an important opportunity for revenue the county certainly doesn’t want to miss out on.
Which is why Tuesday’s public comment period is likely to have a line around the room.
“It’s kind of is a bummer for everybody because the people who are vacationing at stake, and then the owners, who maybe the only way they can afford the property is to rent it,” says vacationer Doug Werby.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday at about 2:30 p.m. They will vote in March.