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By Allison Jarrell

San Juan Capistrano is continuing to see a proliferation of short-term lodging in residential areas, according to city officials, and some of those living situations are having adverse impacts on residents’ quality of life.

City staff has reported receiving an increased number of complaints from “residents who are concerned about other transitory-lodging uses” and “secondary effects such as excessive traffic, littering, and outdoor noise and smoking,” according to the city’s Development Services Department.

In response to those concerns, the City Council initiated an amendment to the city’s Land Use Code in October, which would clarify and strengthen the city’s existing ban on “transitory lodging uses” in residential zones. On Jan. 17, the amended ordinance will appear before the Council for a first look.

The ordinance was presented last month to the city’s Planning Commission, and the commission ultimately recommended the Council adopt the ordinance. The commission received public comments on the proposed changes, and due to some residents asking for an exception for renting rooms or “home sharing,” the commission also suggested the Council consider a “narrow exception that would allow certain low-impact room rentals as long as the exception does not dilute the overall enforceability of the ordinance.”

However, staff wrote in next week’s agenda report that after further analysis, such an exception would in fact weaken the enforceability of the ordinance and cause “financial and administrative burdens that would outweigh the limited benefits.” So staff is not proposing any exceptions to the reinforced ban on short-term lodging.

The Council’s Jan. 17 meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall. To view the agenda, visit www.sanjuancapistrano.org.

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