On June 6, 2017, The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Short-Term Rental Ordinance at the County Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu Street, 4th Floor, Santa Barbara, California.
We are hopeful that the hearing on June 6 will determine the final outcome of this long-awaited decision concerning the use of short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County. As always, your support is extremely important to us.
Our Take on the Issue
At Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals, we specialize in Agritourism and it is our goal to provide guests with an authentic farm or ranch stay experience through a carefully curated selection of breathtaking agricultural properties in the Santa Ynez Valley. We believe that the most appropriate and desirable location for short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County is on agricultural land, all agricultural land, as opposed to residential zoned areas.
A stay at one of our properties is not only a unique, rural experience for guests, but also a means to help sustain and keep agriculture alive in our community. These beautiful agricultural properties are integral in maintaining the rural character of the Santa Ynez Valley, that locals and visitors alike are so drawn to. They keep the bucolic rolling hills of the Valley uninhabited. They allow for 360-degree views of pure, wide-open space. They allow for a place where animals can survive and thrive as ever-increasing development continues to take over.
All of this doesn’t come free. Landowners of agricultural properties need alternative income sources to help offset their operating costs of these expensive, yet extraordinary, properties that we all love and feel a connection to. It isn’t until something is gone that people start to miss what once was.
Agricultural properties cannot survive without using the land, conscientiously, to generate income.
Not taking advantage, but allowing for operations that are a compatible use of agriculture. Just as organic farming, raising llamas, or selling homemade honey from a modest farmstead are all considered a healthy, productive, use of agricultural land, the same is true for short-term rentals on an agricultural properties – it’s all wholesome Agritourism.
The beauty of these stays is that they do not require any new development, there is no negative impact to the land or community, and they are environmentally responsible. Guests are simply sleeping in a structure that already exists on the land. Land where they can wake up to the sound of farm life, brush a horse, walk down a cow path, through a vineyard, star gaze with their kids, pick fresh vegetables, collect chicken eggs, and merely slow down and take it all in with family and close friends.
A few key points in the debate about short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County:
- AGRICULTURE CANNOT BE COMPARED TO RESIDENTIAL: When managed with integrity, short-term rentals on all agricultural properties (AG I & AG II 5, 10, 20, 40, 100+ acres) do not negatively impact the community unlike some residential zoned short-term rentals. Plain and simple, agricultural parcels are much larger than residential parcels and have larger setbacks from neighbors, which help offer more privacy and tranquility for all.
- REVENUE TO COUNTY: Santa Barbara County has a fiduciary responsibility to the community. The Transient Occupant Tax (TOT) generated from short-term rentals on agricultural properties helps contribute significantly towards the budget crisis.
- AGRI-TOURISM: Short-term rentals on agricultural properties provide income to land owners, which in turn, helps keep agriculture alive in our community. These are not your typical, “crash pad” style rentals. Short-term rentals on all agricultural land are intended to offer a farm or ranch stay experience; connecting people with nature and agriculture operations, and do not negatively impact the community or neighboring properties.