Orinda considering ordinance against short-term rentals in wake of Halloween shooting

Bay Area

ORINDA (KRON) — In the wake of the deadly Halloween shooting tragedy in Orinda where five people lost their lives attending a party in an Airbnb rental, the city council is now considering adopting an urgency ordinance targeting short term property rentals.

“I would be very surprised if they don’t restrict it somehow,” said Orinda City Manager Steve Salomon. 

Salomon says the administration staff’s report includes a range new ordinance options.

“Doing nothing which I doubt. We don’t talk about that very much. I doubt that’s what they want to do. To banning short term rentals entirely,” he said. 

Other options include establishing Orinda as a hosted only short term rental market, where the property owner remains on-site with the guests during the rental.

Orinda’s current short term rental ordinance was established back in 2017 after someone was injured during a shooting incident at a large party that was advertised on social media. 

Investigators say the recent Halloween party was promoted on social media as well. 

The existing short term rental ordinance includes restrictions for things like parking, the number of occupants, acceptable level of noise

“This particular incident they violated most of these things,” Saloman said. 

Leading to deadly results, however Orinda residents have mixed views on adopting a new ordinance that would ban Airbnb and other short term rentals.

“I tell you I’d like to see them prohibit short term rentals,” said resident Bob Wilson. 

Another resident disagrees. 

“No, I don’t,” said resident Kristen Bowen. “I just think there needs to be more regulations and what those are I’m not sure yet but I think that would help.”

An urgency ordinance requires a four-fifths vote of the city council. 

It would be effective for no more than 45 days and can be further extended up to two years.

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