Save Humboldt County From Vacation Rentals

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Screenshot of an online ad for vacation rentals. [See here.]

Dear Editor:A hearing is scheduled at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors’s Chambers on Tuesday, February 9 at 1:30 PM. The vacation rental profiteers want to legalize vacation rentals throughout the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County.  They have filed a request with the county to reclassify zoning throughout the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County to allow these roadside motels in our residential areas.

If you (long time community members) don’t want to live next to strangers who invade our neighborhoods and disrupt our quiet country living with loud parties, trash, traffic, dogs pooping on our lawns, cars parking on our properties, and trespassing by both two-legged and four-legged creatures on our private properties, your attendance and your voice is greatly needed at this hearing.

Cities and counties throughout the state and country are banning these roadside motels (aka vacation rentals) because of their disruption of the way of life of their communities.

The quick cash from out-of-towners is fueling the greed of the white-collar profiteers in our county who plan to take over our neighborhoods. (I’ve lived next to one of these roadside motels for a couple years now and I can tell you that I might as well be living next to a Motel 6 for snobs.) These out-of-towners with money don’t give a hoot about the neighbors. They are not considerate; as a matter fact they are the exact opposite of considerate.

Help save and preserve the quality of life here in Humboldt County. Help stop these vacation rentals from taking over. It’s time to take a stand. Your voice is needed on February 9th.

Mara Parker



  • LOL. Is this for real? A ban against snobs who help neighbors pay their mortgages & repairs. Okaaaaay.

    • Well they could always grow pot instead. Its a quiet little industry well until the hash lab blows up anyway.This is a sarcastic comment in no way should it be taken seriously.You see I don’t exactly enjoy people walking around with AK 47’s next to our family vacation cabin.but I certainly don’t see many complaining about that here.

  • awesome, thanks for heads up. I wouldnt have known when to show up to support this vote. Everybody always un happy with something. I have been a vacation renter many times in the past. was always respectful of everyone. Yes there are bad people in any type of life. You dont ban something for all because of the acts of the few. Just like guns. .99.9% of gun owners are law abiding citizens but but so many people want guns banned. If i was to guess the author of this statement is one of them. What do we ban next. kids in a neighborhood. Because they might play on your yard? Or lets ban wood stoves because you might have a fire and burn down my house. many houses burn down because of chimney fires. Or maybe ban gardening , i once live next to someone who used round up in there garden and it could have polluted my well so just incase all gardens should be banned. The price of a vacation rental is 10x the price of motel 6 so your comment of “mights well be motel 6” kinds shows the color of the glasses your wearing. I would say she did throw out all the words she could think of to make it sound real bad. Vote yes on allowing people who own there property to do what they wish.

    • Don’t forget they will be sure to stack the deck with their like-minded friends as most of them have flexible schedules so they can be at all these little cute public meetings and get back home to water or smoke.

  • I have a hard time believing a family that decides to stay in this type of rental is “not considerate; as a matter fact they are the exact opposite of considerate.”. Maybe a few bad apples, but ALL of them?

  • I clicked the link to the rental site and there are no rentals listed for California. In fact, California isn’t listed. Doesn’t make for a good case.

    • I added the photo just as a visual reminder. I deliberately chose a vacation rental place not from around here in order not to appear to point a finger at a particular place and I linked to the place as a courtesy because I used their image. (Kym Kemp, editor)

  • More Italians? Pasta smells everywhere......

    Hear, hear! That’s right.
    We gotta keep those jews, no i mean, irish, no i mean, blacks, no i mean HAPPY VACATIONERS out of our communities.
    They are gonna ruin everything! With all their partying right next door, just 1/4 of a mile away. Right next door! The horrors!
    ( that being said, it sounds like the person who wrote this has made a good point. A full time vacation rental really is nothing more than just another form of hotel. It’s one thing to rent out the “family cabin” a few times a year to friends and co-workers, quite another if it’s just a hotel with another name, like the “employee vs co-owner/independent contractor” swindle. )

  • I’d prefer this over my current grower neighbors with their hash lab and badly wired grow room.picking up social services (medi cal, wic, head start , care discount electricity ) even though they have nice lengthy vacations in south America

  • vacation rentals , yep , know them well
    you dont want to end up like clearlake do you
    8 months of the year are nice and quiet , the other 4 months are party drunk drug heaven with dirt bikes racing all over on our dirt CITY streets and quads racing on same dirt city streets and cops sitting back watching .
    im allergic to the garbage

  • ObviouslyNotABoomer

    Non owner-occupied vacation rentals are burdening the community with nuisances, putting strain on rural infrastructure, and are forcing families and forcing anyone younger than a Baby Boomer out of the rental market. Families and neighbors have been replaced with defacto hotels where the occupants – depending on the week – may or may not respect the neighborhood and those who live permanently within it.
    Supporters of non owner-occupied vacation rentals are quick to cite tourist income as the reason why they should not be regulated. However, most of this income is to the property manager and/or owner’s benefit. Only a fraction makes it to the community at large. Any deposits that are kept due to a violation in rental agreements and/or community complaints are almost always pocketed by the property management or owner.
    These rentals are NOT good for the community, they are good for the investors who operate them – many of whom are not even members of the community and reside outside of Humboldt County.
    Politicians (even those on a county level) selling out to big business is not acceptable.

    • But if they are vactioning they cant be sitting in a house the whole time. If u rent a house for the week, they can take their time patronizing the local food, retail, town services n state parks. This is more than what the property owner makes after wear & tear. Humboldt County has more State Parks than the rest of Ca. This county used to boom the tourist circut, & it still can.

  • Vacation rentals are just one more way for the small number of families, who own all our homes, to make money.

  • Humboldt County Line

    This persons viewpoint reminds me of all the folks who move here to grow then after 8-10 years consider themselves locals and want to stop people from moving here to grow.

    • This negative view point reminds me of folks who forget Humboldt is part of USA, which we are all citzens of. Same rules as the rest of the State & Country. If they’re registered to vote, it is part of their decision too, whether u agree or not. Their opinion does matter in the ballot box.

      As for the subject of vaction rentals, i believe property owners(who worked hard for their $, whether grower or not), should have the right to make their house a vacation rental if thats what they wish to do so. It might bring a more positive tourist industry back to the area. Maybe some more positive additudes too

      • I totally agree. Trying to discriminate in this way is unconstitutional.
        Plus, the chances that these people come from an area with less crime is large, meaning that the chances that these people are more law abiding is also large.

  • Actually, a LOT of people decide to use vacation rentals for their big parties, strictly because it saves them having to make their own homes presentable before and after them. It’s a thing. They are more often noisy than not… AND they send area rentals through the roof.

  • old town observer

    Nines is exactly right:
    “AND they send area rentals through the roof.”

    many cities have experienced the same thing and are actively working to prevent this loss of long term rentals from the short term stay market.

    The money typically goes out of the area especially when so many rentals are owned by hedge funds that hire national management companies to run them.

    This reaction to this problem is sweeping the state as local governments experience the calls to do something about these short term rental issues.

    Proponents will trot out Mr and Mrs Hard Working Joe for sympathy, but far too many of the owners, especially after they harvested so many good people’s properties after the disaster of 2008 is out of town hedge fund investment companies owners and their out of town managers.
    Any local employees would be employed no matter who the owners are, but instead the earnings from the rentals go out of town while we, as is usual, will be stuck with the costs to further tax whatever our quality of life…

    Remember not only do these short term stay rentals remove rentals available to local families they “AND they send area rentals through the roof.”..thanks nines.

    • Yer welcome. I lived through the horror of Stinson Beach and Bolinas pricing out even the upper middle class. The rich people down on the Marin coast now have to drive “over the hill” [Mt Tam] to pick up handymen, gardeners, housekeepers, etc. Workers at local businesses are unreliable because they have to drive so far to get to and from work.

      It’s a mess.

      Same thing is shaping up down in Mendo World now too. People’s kids, even though they can get work, have to move out of state in order to both get work and afford their own home.

      • I also agree. It’s difficult enough to “make it” without vacation rentals scooping up any house they can make a profit on.

    • Oh I get it. Rent to growers that will totally trash my house. What a stupid idea. The grow industry has pushed up the cost of rentals way more than this industry. I Would still live in Humboldt CO you know if I didn’t care if my kids became druggys. The pot industry is destroying what I saw as a great area to raise my family when I moved there 27 years ago. Many businesses are suffering do to this culture. I had moved to a state that still doing well economically and took my business with me. I love what Humboldt co use to be. May I’ll move back to what I still consider my home. But for now I just try to hang on to it through vacation rentals to help pay the mortgage. By the way this article is totally ridiculous. Most rental don’t allow large parties. And most are very respectful to the neighbors.

      • It’s not a choice between growers and partiers. There are plenty of decent and trustworthy people who have solid jobs that don’t pay enough for them to own a home who need the place… and Humboldt is definitely never going back to how it used to be if people keep doing all these things that unerringly lead to gentrification and more and more people having to move away from HOME to try to keep from joining the homeless on the streets.


        Oh, and they have the parties whether they’re allowed or not, and the owners don’t care because they keep the security deposits, make even MORE money.

      • Leaving the area doesn’t help. Holding your ground and making your voice heard would have. When you left, who do you think took your place? Come back, there is more support here then you can fathom for those who are positive.

      • Agree with you Frustrated you are right on and not to mention my understanding is nearly half of the foreclosures in Humboldt county have been heavily damaged by illegal indoor marijuana grows .

  • If I had a mortgage to pay, and rules as to my “vacationers” to abide by, I think I’d feel not a little pissed off that you seem to think you can dictate what I can do with my property within the confines of the law, and CHANGE the law for your personal benefit, which takes place OFF my property. I’ve done the vacation property thing, years ago in McK AND in Old Town. Nobody cared, it wasn’t a problem for anyone but, apparently, YOU. We already have laws covering peace, tranquility and quiet enjoyment. Call a fucking cop, but don’t tell me what to do with my property. Talk about snobs.

    • Humboldt has always been a “secret” location. But I can see how you love the mainstream attention. You cannot eat money.

  • River Runs Through it

    When our family goes places we always look for a vacation rental. I think you are out of your mind if you believe that Humboldt will look like Stinson or Bolinas as far as rentals go! I personally intend to turn my second unit into an air b&b in Westhaven. So I do not agree with your arguments, I think you are all just uptight with nothing better to do.

    • So you probably have no idea what Stinson and Bolinas were like before vacation rentals turned into a big deal. They were like Humboldt, like living in Petrolia… or Ferndale in the old days.

      You probably don’t know how the Bolinas locals warred to keep even tourists out, tearing down the turnoff sign every time it was put up on Hwy One, giving everyone who showed up in town the third degree to scare them off… screaming at planning meetings… the works… and STILL they fell to the grand gentrification.

      You probably don’t know about the bitter feuds between the “townies” and the Sea Drift HOA in Stinson either. You probably never had the clerk from the corner grocery store ask to stay in your garage so he could keep his job.

      You probably have no idea how ordinary people used to be able to buy property there and live a nice mellow country life for about the same amount of money it would have cost just about everywhere in the state, and now those properties cost millions… even dumps… JUST for the location… for the vacation rental market.

      You probably never were evicted because your landlord wanted to make more money using your home as a vacation rental. You probably never had kids move clear across the country to be able to make a living. You probably never lost your job because you had to move too far away to be able to keep it.

      You probably never had the locals on the Oregon coast look at your license plate and refuse to talk to you until you promised you weren’t there to buy property… or the locals in MONTANA do the same.

      And you sure as heck don’t seem to be thinking about how people in your community could really use a local rental to live in. Let them eat cake.

  • I would like a B&B or home rental better.have you stayed in a motel or hotel lately?dirty unkempt rooms,they don’t change the quilts,bedspreads.weve found old food,toothbrushes really!our linen was dusty and crusty yuck.home vacation rental PLEASE,Thank You

  • So many of my friends with rental property have had their homes completely trashed or destroyed/burned by tenants who seemed legitimate but turned out to have meth labs/hash labs or grow houses. I realize it hurts the family rental market price-wise but what is a homeowner supposed to do? I’ve been in the tourism industry for 16 years and most of our visitors are respectful of the places they stay in, the places they visit and the outdoor environment they came here to spend money at in the first place.
    On another note, how is it that we can be looking to legitimize the marijuana industry but not bring into the mainstream our vacation rental industry? Both bring much needed dollars into Humboldt County. When has the underground vacation rental industry trashed the environment the way that pot growers have? Are vacation rentals leaving garbage in our streams, killing wildlife with pesticides, herbicides and every other “cide” they get their hands on? (BTW, there ARE still a few Mom & Pop Grow Operations who are doing things right and I’m not blathering about them)
    Legitimize both industries. Employ people. Collect taxes. Have checks and balances.
    If I had my way, they would also ALL be organic using sustainable off-the-grid energy, but alas, I am on the grid myself using all the tools I have to not use much energy and I admit to eyeing the vacation rental industry for my own property.
    Dead elephant is on the lawn now. Lets talk about it constructively.

    • Yes, it DOES bring in money, but does not boost wages and raises the price of housing. So property owners make more money and price out at least half the people in their community. Inside ten years nobody working in vacation rental towns can afford to live AND work there. What town are you designating for the slum you’re creating? Or are you going to pay the maids and landscapers enough money to live and raise their families decently?

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