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Woodside council gets earful on short-term rentals and their impact on rural character

Original post made on Oct 14, 2016

The sharing economy, in the form of short-term rental outfits like Airbnb, has become a disruptive force in parts of Woodside.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 13, 2016, 11:49 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Will
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:57 am

Woodside needs to keep its rural charm for sure. I like the idea of no rentals under 30 days. We don't need those who are not living in Woodside coming here because it's become more noticeable as an "exclusive" place and using rentals as a party space. I grew up in Woodside my whole life and I definitely don't want to see it used as a short term rental place. Let's preserve our town, and I trust the council will make a wise decision moving forward as they have with other issues that affect the town.


Posted by local
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 14, 2016 at 10:58 am

30 day minimum is excessive, and might actually lead to more corporate rentals.

How about a max of 60 total days in a rolling 12 months, as SF is proposing, for short term rentals?

The noise ordinance may be a problem, because plenty of Woodside residents have some pretty rockin' parties. Let's make sure any rules apply to all, or not have the rule.


Posted by Woodside Resident
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:41 pm

To the extent this issue is about noise it's important to note that San Mateo County has an elaborate and restrictive noise ordinance:

Web Link

In the noise anecdotes reported, did the complainants attempt to resolve the issue either directly with the noisemakers or by contacting the county sheriff? If so, what was the result?


Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

It's likely that San Mateo County noise regulations apply only in communities that are not incorporated as a city or town.

As for calls to sheriff's deputies (who are contracted for police services in Woodside), a couple of residents alluded to having made such calls. One person said that nothing happened as a result. Another mentioned deputies having to "break through" locked gates to get to the noise makers.


Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Woodside has a noise ordinance.


Posted by Ed
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Airbnb should be subject to the same regulations and taxes as any hotel, because that's exactly what they are. No sympathy for thoughtless owners trying to be hip, stuff their pockets with cash, and let their neighbors bear the brunt of unaccountable transient tenants. If Woodside, or any other community wanted hotels in residential neighborhoods, the zoning would reflect that desire. I'm willing to bet hotels are not welcome in rural Woodside, and by extension, neither should airbnb.


Posted by Glens Resident
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Oct 14, 2016 at 10:36 pm

The formula cited (2 people per bedroom plus 2) could work for some situations, but it could be way too many for others.

Parking should also be considered, especially in cozier neighborhoods like the Glens. Should a 3-bedroom house have 8 people living in it? Probably not. And definitely not if that means having 7 cars in and around the driveway.

A 3-bedroom home that is occupied by a family probably has 2-4 cars. If it's converted into an airbnb hotel, it could easily have double that.


Posted by capitalist
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Oct 15, 2016 at 6:46 am

Keep big government out of my life. And off of my property. Suddenly, everyone wants more government regulations on what we do with our property.

Fed state regional county local town - NO!


Posted by New to Woodside
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Oct 17, 2016 at 9:03 am

I'm tired of others telling me what I can and cannot do. Mind your own business.


Posted by Everything changes
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Oct 18, 2016 at 9:07 am

My property. Keep government out of it. Oh mighty town council member, stop defending the past. It's not helping anyone but your ego and your small networks congratulatory combined ego of "what is right"


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 18, 2016 at 9:58 am

pogo is a registered user.

You can do what you want with your property but you don't get to change the rules. Hotels are not allowed in Woodside residential neighborhoods.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind if tore down my home, built a large movie screen and converted it into a drive in theater?

I suspect you'll change your mind when you can't sleep for the constant partying and your neighborhood turns into a Motel 6 parking lot.


Posted by been there
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

It seems the issue is noise, not airbnb. Enforcing the town's noise ordinance seems like the first step. No need to ban rentals if the problem can be resolved with existing laws.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm

pogo is a registered user.

No one wants to ban rentals. We want to limit short term rentals.

If we wanted to live next to a hotel, we wouldn't have moved to Woodside.


Posted by ECommerce use and occupancy tax
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Oct 18, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Think how state finally got Amazon and other ECommerce vendors to collect sales tax...in effort to protect established brick and mortar storefront biz undercut by ECommerce

Well established legal principles of "Unlawful Restraint of Trade", together with "Interference with prospective economic advantage" cited in Buckaloo v. johnson....make limitations on AirbnB penetration into Woodside via ECommerce a tricky constitutional, property rights voyage...IMHO

Perhaps a focus on the Towns' taxing authority for use and occupancy via Airbnb to offset additional municipal costs of policing, infrastructure wear and tear due to increase of non resident transients, etc. becomes a legitimate legally Enforceable & Defensible exercise of "Police Power" of local zoning authority empowered by State Constitution Local Authority Zoning Laws...and a significant cost of doing business liened on Airbnb proprietors by the Town, like a Transient Occupancy Tax assessed to lodging establishments , at a significant premium to the typical 10-12% lodging occupancy tax....makes it really expensive in overhead and form filing costs for airbnb hosts.

Not hard to find out who the airbnb hosts are from their website....Tax them to stress the economic attraction of being an airbnb host


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Aug 15, 2017 at 2:25 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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