Long Beach poised to enforce coastal short-term rental rules

Property owners have till Sept. 6 to register with city or face $1K fines


It’s time for Long Beach homeowners near the coast to register their short-term rentals – or else.

Property owners near the beach who want to share their homes as short-term rentals must register with the city by Sept. 6 or face a $1,000 fine, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

The city will enforce its short-term rental registration rules months after it agreed to comply with recommendations by the California Coastal Commission. The City Council adopted rules requiring short-term rental registration in coastal zones earlier this year.

The municipality said it crafted its short-term rental rules “to promote tourism to the city while protecting neighborhoods from any nuisance behavior or overconcentration of vacation rentals,” according to its website.

The commission objected to applying those rules in the coastal zone, saying strict restrictions on short-term rentals like those done through Airbnb could limit affordable access near the beach.

Long Beach passed its rules on short-term rentals — defined as properties rented out for fewer than 90 days — in 2020 and began enforcing those restrictions the next year. It has been unable to enforce the rental rules in the coastal zone since December, pending Coastal Commission approval.

Long Beach primarily targets unhosted rentals, where there is no direct supervision of guests. Unhosted STRs can only be rented out for 90 days per year, according to the city’s ordinance, and can be barred in certain areas by resident-backed petitions.

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The ordinance also restricts how many short-term rentals owners can operate.

Hosted short-term rentals, where the owner lives on the property, can operate on an unlimited basis as long as the homeowner is present. Long Beach caps short-term rentals, both hosted and unhosted, at 800 citywide.

The Coastal Commission wanted the city to tweak its ordinance to ensure the public would have more affordable coastal access. It said restricting the number of unhosted short-term rentals could not only limit coastal access, but also lead to fewer resources and higher prices for visitors.

Had Long Beach rejected the commission’s changes, its short-term rental restrictions would have been tossed out across its coastal zones.

The City Council approved the commission’s changes in March. The commission then approved a revised ordinance in May, giving Long Beach the authority to enforce short-term rental restrictions near the beach.

Under the updated regulations, Long Beach will allow 350 unhosted short-term rentals in the coastal zone, among its 800 total short-term rentals.

— Dana Bartholomew

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