VACAVILLE (CBS13) – Sign after sign staked on the lawns of historic Buck Avenue homes are protesting city hall’s proposal to allow bed and breakfast-type businesses in the neighborhood.
“It struck a chord,” said David Knecht whose dream home is being renovated on that street.
He said there’s no room for business here, and his neighbors all agree.
“If you have an AirBNb and you use it full-time, well then you just turned it into a little hotel, and that destroys the character,” he said.
The city acknowledges many vacation rentals already operate in a town like dozens listed on the AirBNB website even though they are not allowed.
“It’s an area of our municipal code we need to address,” said Mark Mazzaferro with the city.
He said by authorizing short-term rentals it would allow them to be regulated.
“There are still people who believe they shouldn’t be allowed in our city, but by the same token, one of our council members mentioned they’re already here, and they’re here to stay, so we need to deal with it now,” he said.
Currently, unlicensed operations pay no business or hotel taxes; something tourism officials don’t agree with.
“It’s not fair,” Melyssa Laughlan, president and CEO of Visit Vacaville.
Supporters believe allowing them will help boost the economy and add money to the general fund.
“Anybody who’s running, essentially a hotel out of their home, we want to see them have to pay taxes and play by the same rules,” she said.
But critics feel these type of commercial operations will change the atmosphere of their close-knit community.
“It’s beautiful. It’s quiet; it’s peaceful, it’s serene. They want to keep it that way,” Mazzaferro said
Residents on Buck Avenue got a minor win when the planning commission voted to recommend denying bed and breakfasts on that street, but the full city council is expected to cover the issue in December, including on how to regulate vacation rentals.