ORINDA (CBS SF) — In the wake of the death of five people at a party in a short-term-rental house in their city Thursday night, Orinda City Council members on Tuesday will talk about possible changes to the city’s short-term rental rules.
Orinda’s rules for operating short-term rental properties are fairly typical. Since October 2017, the City of Orinda has required owners of short-term rental properties to register with the city. Those owners are required to pay 8.5 percent of that rental income to the city, via quarterly payments.READ MORE: COVID Vaccines: Marin County Set To Expand Eligibility; Seniors Say Finding Appointments Still A Challenge
The maximum occupancy of any space used for short-term rental is two people per bedroom plus three other people. Some cities and towns, including Danville, ban short-term rentals entirely. Others, such as Sunnyvale, allow such rentals only if the property owners remain on-site.
Orinda councilmember Dennis Faye proposed the moratorium, saying that allowing rental homes to be used as party houses is “ridiculous.”
“So we can shut it off quickly, buy us some time to look at this more carefully and look at what kind of remedy is appropriate for Orinda,” Faye said. Orinda, a town of 19,800, is one of the safest cities in the Bay Area with just one homicide in the past decade before Thursday’s mass shooting.
Faye says the city could ban just houses and allow single bedroom rentals, or ban them all entirely.
On Saturday, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said his firm is enacting new measures to ban “party houses” from that platform, including expanding manual screening of high-risk reservations flagged by its risk-detection technology; creating a dedicated “party house” rapid response team, and taking immediate action against users who violate Airbnb polices against having too many people in a given rental property.
These moves come in direct response to Thursday night’s shootings that killed five guests at “secret mansion party” that attracted more than 100 guests.READ MORE: Stunning Yellow Superbloom Pops Up In Half Moon Bay - 'It's Perfect'
The father of 23-year-old Ramon Hill Jr., one of the victims, spoke out Sunday evening, saying several people are responsible for his death.
“I’m mad at Airbnb for even allowing this to go down,” said Hill Sr. “The police was called at 9. That party should have been shut down. If the part was shut down, my son would still be here.”
Hill Sr. said his son has a baby on the way. Hill Sr. said he’s lost three sons, two of whom were lost this year.
“I definitely think there needs to be some type of criteria or something that will set a certain standard, to ensure, perhaps, that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Katrina Honens of Orinda told KPIX 5.
On Sunday afternoon, police officers were still seen visiting the crime scene as a two makeshift memorials continued to grow near the home on Lucille Way as well as in downtown Orinda.
Visitors bringing flowers to the memorials were still reeling from the violence that has struck the small town.
“We’re still in shock, everyone’s in shock that this happened,” said Nicole Stagnaro.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. inside the Orinda Library auditorium, 26 Orinda Way.MORE NEWS: COVID: Santa Clara Supervisors Approve $5/Hour Grocery Worker Hazard Pay
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