Auburn this week became the first jurisdiction in the Sacramento region to officially regulate home-sharing operations like Airbnb, a popular online platform on which residents rent private rooms for money.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve an ordinance that requires Auburn residents to register with the city before starting a home-sharing operation. The approval came after heated discussions in this foothills community of 14,000 people, with some residents expressing concern about traffic and congestion in their neighborhoods.
City leaders say the home-sharing operations supply needed rooms, allowing visitors to stay in Auburn instead of neighboring Rocklin or Roseville. Auburn has only one hotel, the 96-room Holiday Inn on Grass Valley Highway.
“This will keep visitors in our community,” Councilman Daniel Berlant said. “The hope is they’ll eat at our restaurants or shop here.”
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The ordinance allows home-sharing establishments in all residential zones. Proprietors will need to pay a $57 licensing fee and obtain a $27 business permit. If neighbors within 100 feet object to the enterprise, proprietors can appeal to the Auburn Planning Commission and the City Council.
The city will not be collecting occupancy taxes on the rooms. The new rules take effect Feb. 12.
Associate planner Lance Lowe noted that nontraditional accommodations, like a yurt or a garage, will remain illegal. Auburn officials previously relied on health and safety codes to close down a yurt, a tent-like outdoor structure, and a converted office that were being rented out in the city because the buildings were deemed uninhabitable.
Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.