ORINDA (KPIX 5) — City leaders discussed Orinda’s short-term rental policy late into the night Tuesday after hearing from dozens of residents during public comment.
The meeting was held at the Library Auditorium and there was an overflow room. It began with a moment of silence for the five shooting victims killed in a Halloween party shooting. One person remains in a coma.
“Banning Airbnb is not a solution, abusers will find another way,” said Suzanne Geoffrion of Orinda.
Some residents spoke in defense of short-term rentals in Orinda, while others wanted to outright ban them.
“I’m urging city council to ban all short-term rentals within the city of Orinda,” said Dan Tiraschi.
Currently, the city’s policy bans large parties at short-term rental units.
Sally Ng lives two houses away from the so-called party house on Lucille Way. She says regulations need rigid enforcement.
“There were a number parties earlier in the year. In fact, I went on the Airbnb rental site to try and figure out why there’s so many parties,” said Ng. “Did you know that house was advertised as ‘great for parties?'”
The city is debating whether to revise its policy in the coming weeks.
“I want for any measures that would be taken to be reasonable and well-thought out, and not just a knee-jerk reaction to a horrible tragedy,” said Naomi Greenstone of Orinda.
The police chief explained to the council why officers didn’t respond to noise complaints at the house party until an hour and a half after they came in.
“Our dispatch center received several complaints regarding the party detail on Lucille Way. These complaints, while not insignificant, at the time were a lower priority than the Lafayette call that the officers were already on,” said Chief David Cook.
Cook said that his officers had been called to a violent home invasion robbery in neighboring Lafayette.
Despite complaints of the Lucille Way home being a “wild party house,” the chief said records show that since March of this year, there have been no calls of this nature at the address until Halloween night.