Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury Investigates Vacation Rental Issues in Trinidad
This is a press release from the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury:
A Tale of Two Cities
Vacation Rentals in Trinidad, California
Trinidad, a lovely seaside town in the heart of Redwood Country, embodies the hopes and dreams of many people within its small and picturesque environs. Many residents desire the family-friendly, uncrowded community that existed when they moved there. Others wish to create businesses in its charming neighborhoods, aspirations which have led to a proliferation of short term rental (STR) units, from 5% in 2000 to approximately 18% in 2014. As a result, conflicts have arisen and residents filed complaints with the Grand Jury.
Citizens cite a number of issues related to the proliferation of STRs, which include:
• Loss of permanent residents, leading to a declining number of volunteers willing to support the town activities
• Multiple perceived violations of the rules and regulations governing STRs which residents believe are not being adequately enforced
• A lack of follow-through in the appeals process
• Perceived conflicts of interest among current city council members and a city official who either own or have other interests in STRs
According to Trinidad city officials, between 2000 and 2010 the vacation rental industry grew unrestricted. As complaints about STRs surfaced, the first city ordinance (2014-02) was enacted, then revised as Ordinance 2016-03, which went into effect in June 2017.
After reviewing Ordinance 2016-03, the Grand Jury believes that strict adherence to the procedures set forth in that ordinance would successfully address many of the conflicts facing Trinidad relative to STRs.