The Arcata City Council will consider adopting an ordinance tonight that would cap the number of vacation rentals at 100 and establish regulations regarding their operation, including obtaining a permit and posting contact information at the site.
The consent agenda item was moved forward earlier this month in a 3-1 vote, with Mayor Sofia Pereira recused, Councilmembers Brett Watson, Stacy Atkins-Salazar and Emily Goldstein in favor and Councilmember Sarah Schaefer opposed.
The outlined purpose of the ordinance is to "ensure the safe and orderly conduct" of such rentals and to limit the impact on the city's strapped housing stock.
After hearing public comment against the cap, the latter aim was noted by several council members during the previous meeting, who pointed to the need to preserve the character of local neighborhoods and not have them overrun with a constantly rotating group of short-term renters with no stake in the community.
Councilmember Brett Watson said prospective homebuyers who want to set down roots in the city are already facing a tough search with "nothing on the market and the prices are out of control right now."
He also noted the cap could be reassessed down the line.
The cap of 100, down from the initially proposed 125, represents about 1.2 percent of Arcata's housing stock, Community Development Director David Loya told the council at the last meeting.
In other business, the council will consider extending an urgency ordinance that places temporary restrictions on the eviction of commercial tenants due to non-payment of rent related to COVID-19.
Find the full agenda for the 6 p.m. meeting here