In the face of an unprecedented housing crisis, California has passed legislation allowing secondary dwelling units to be built by right for any home for the sole purpose of renting them out and providing much needed additional housing. The RSFA’s policies are in direct violation of this new regulation by the state.
Policies precluding owners from renting their guest houses or rooms in their homes to the less fortunate or friends and family in need are, at the very basic level, a form of discrimination. Adding to these discriminatory policies even more regulations and restrictions will only make this attitude and behavior more pervasive. Short term housing needs are as important as long-term needs and there is a shortage of both in our area.
The new proposed policy precludes an owner in our community from participating in the exciting and popular house swapping or trading vacation homes; It would require a one-month minimum stay with access to the entirety of the property and all private information about the swapping family would need to be presented and approved by an RSFA staff member.
The proposed policy changes and restrictions also create a need for a rental oversight staff. This would add to the costs of running our community and such costs and consequences should be fully studied and voted on by the entire membership prior to ever being implemented. This should only occur if such policies are found to be legal and not in violation of anti-discrimination or fair-housing laws.
Further restrictions, adding to the already over burdensome restrictions within this community, would only create more costs, more adversarial relationships between the Board and neighbors tasked with enforcing such heinous policies. Enforcing and imposing fines on our neighbors for using their property as housing, its intended use, regardless of who lives in it, will create strong animosity and resentment within our community which is already deeply divided.
The consequent negative press and flurry of impending litigation comparable to what the city of Del Mar is now facing for similar proposals will negatively affect our property values, restrict property rights and alienate prospective new community members.
This type of overreaching oversight is unwarranted and certainly not appreciated by the membership at large, particularly in the face of an exhaustive level of regulations that already exist in our Protective Covenant documents.
The following is a list of direct comments on and objections to the specific language used in the RSFA’s proposal; they are numbered according to the section of the proposal to which I am responding.
1) “Purpose and Intent.” This whole section is misleading, and it should read: “The purpose and intent is to further control the members of this association by adding more government oversight and restrictions.” In every single instance where policies such as these are put in place, they lower property values and create overbearing regulations that discourage potential buyers and new community members. In most cases, these types of regulations and rules are so harmful they end up being litigated or reversed by the membership over time. They are clearly discriminating against the people that would find a need to rent a room or a guest house.
2) “Vacation Rental.” If at all defined it should be limited to less than seven days. This should not at all apply to house swapping or home trading.
3) “Rental or Lease Agreement.” What is the purpose of this requirement? The homeowners are currently responsible under the existing PC bylaws for any guest or occupant of their residence to comply with the rules of the community. Any additional burden or clarification is just overbearing and a form of over governing.
4) “Entire Dwelling.” This is additionally overbearing. Anyone should be able to rent out any portion of their property for any legal and allowable use. So, someone with a barn, for example, could not rent out the stalls to a neighbor or friends for instance. This happens all over the Ranch and it is a benefit to our community to have such options. Further restrictions beyond what already exist in our documents are not necessary and again are overbearing and a form of over governing.
5) “Advertising.” This is likely illegal and cannot be enforced without specific staff being assigned to oversee and monitor such activities. This would add unnecessary costs required to use a realtor to market a rental property, who, in turn, would also use such online advertising. What is the purpose of the advertising restriction? What is gained and who gains from such a proposal? It again is simply overbearing and over burdensome on the staff of the Association and should not be part of what an Association is responsible for administering. The audacity of an Association to dictate this level of involvement in a member’s life and personal property rights is an unbelievable insult and an outright power grab.
6) “Violations.” Monitoring of this new program would require hiring or reassigning additional staff to oversee such an onerous program. This is the governing few dictating and silencing the membership and its rights. These types of arbitrary fine programs and punishments for violations of an already onerous and discriminatory regulation are unwarranted and unfair.
7) “Notification.” Not only is this in all probability illegal, but there is NO precedent for such a violation of privacy and confiscation of property rights than what is contained in this section. Again, we as members do not want to pay for someone to monitor the theft of our property rights to the level of who is actually living in every single room in our homes. Where does this overreaching governing cease? Now the RSFA is asking for driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, and other personal information which it has absolutely no right to ask for or possess. A copy of the lease too is required and is overbearing and unnecessary. Do we need to identify where the renters are going or eating as well? The proposal is preposterous. This section is particularly egregious, and it raises the highest decibel of alarm bell regarding the danger our property rights and privacy are in.
These overreaching, over governing and discriminatory attitudes and policies within our community must not be allowed to continue. Our Association should be focused on lowering our ever-increasing water rates and the constant unfair utilities billing practices within our community and not restricting our property rights.
We are vehemently opposed to any additional regulations, burdens and costs being added to our community.
Lance and Anna Waite
RSF Covenant homeowners have until the next RSFA Board meeting on Dec. 7 to respond to the proposed regulations. Members can mail a letter to the Board or drop one off at the RSFA before Dec. 7 to express his or her opinion. The other quicker option is for members to email their response to the proposals to RSFA Covenant Administrator and Assistant Manager Christy Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message from the RSFA:
The Board of Directors has received and reviewed over 60 member comments regarding short-term home rentals in Rancho Santa Fe. Thank you to all members who provided input. At the Dec. 7 Board meeting, the Board will defer discussion and consideration of proposed short-term rental rules to allow for additional research and study. A future date for reconsideration has not been determined.
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