STR ordinance continued until 2020
At the Tuesday, Nov. 19, board meeting, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors referred the draft Short Term Rentals Ordinance back to staff for more revisions. Seven more members of the public (owners) testified including two hosts of farm-stay properties and two Three Rivers property owners. All asked the supervisors to reconsider the current draft ordinance and remove some restrictions, waive or reduce fees for inspection, or just table the ordinance altogether. news you need
Each of the supervisors spoke briefly on their take on the ordinance. Supervisor Pete Vander Poel, District 2 (Tulare), admitted there aren’t many short term rentals in Tulare but agreed that the ordinance is too restrictive. Supervisor Eddie Valero District 4 (Dinuba/Woodlake), also said that the ordinance is over-restrictive but ignoring the impact is not an option.
“What we are looking at is a housing challenge,” Valero said. news you need
Supervisor Townsend, District 5 (Porterville), asked: “Do we need more code enforcement if the ordinance is passed?”
Supervisor Kuyler Crocker, District 1 (Three Rivers) and board chairman, summarized:
“Short term vacation rental policy is complex… Our Board directed staff to standardize Good Neighbor policies and provide a one-time exemption to existing registered short-term vacation rental owners. We recognize the value of property rights, which cut both ways, as a short-term vacation rental owner and as a neighbor.”
What it means: No ordinance will be enacted until at least 2020. Owners already registered with the tax collector and paying Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) will be exempt from the one-time fee but not the inspection. news you need
White Horse Inn has a new owner
Following one final wedding on Saturday, Nov. 16, Gary and Jeanne White are officially retired and have transferred the White Horse Inn to a new owner — Yvo Kwee of Marina del Rey. It was fitting that the last wedding: Shawn Fox and Allie Fry were the Whites’ last hurrah.
“Shawn has worked at the White Horse for the past 10 years, and Allie for the last five,” Jeanne said. “Allie will continue on to help manage the new establishment as Kwee will be an absentee owner.”
Jeanne said Kwee is familiar with Three Rivers. Kwee owns a number of local vacation rentals. news you need
Gary White purchased the former Moro Rock Tavern in February 1966. Three months later, Gary reopened as the White Horse Inn.
Jeanne (Brown) began working at the White Horse Inn in 1973 at age 15; three years later Jeanne and Gary married. In 1984, the White Horse Inn hosted its first wedding. It continued operating as a restaurant until 1998. For the last 20 years, the property has been used exclusively for weddings and special events.
What it means: The longest continuously operating business in Three Rivers under one owner has been sold. The new owner is another example of how the proliferation of short term rentals and the local tourism economy is driving investors to develop local businesses to serve new clientele.
Sunshine Paradise Ranch decision to be appealed
Both sides, for and against the proposed project, have appealed the approval of a maximum 15 persons that would be permitted at the four-acre property located 9.5 miles up South Fork Drive in Three Rivers. Mike Washam, associate director of Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency, said the appeal of a special use permit by both sides is unprecedented.
The applicant in the project is seeking to use the two houses as short-term vacation rentals when the owners are not in residence, which was denied by the Planning Commission. That would allow another 18 to 24 people on the property in addition to the maximum of 15 allowed under the special use permit that was approved.
Opponents argued that the guest ranch would violate CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and would be contrary to the policies outlined in the County’s own planning documents. A coalition of South Fork residents testified that South Fork Drive is inadequate to handle more traffic and the fire danger is extreme.
What it means: Appeals of the Paradise Ranch Special Use Permit are scheduled to be heard at the December 17 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. A protracted legal battle is likely.
While the storm that passed through Kaweah Country on Wednesday, Nov. 20, brought a 20-degree drop in the daytime temperature, it contained little moisture. The higher elevations above 9,000 feet in the nearby mountains received up to a foot of snow. In Three Rivers, rainfall amounts ranged from .10 to .25 inches depending on location.
There is more precipitation in the Thanksgiving forecast starting Wednesday, Nov. 27, and continuing through Friday, Nov. 29. On Thanksgiving Day, high temperatures are predicted to only reach 50 — that’s cold considering on November 19 high temps were in the upper 70s.
What it means: The first significant precipitation of the season on November 20 was the third latest on record since records have been kept (1880s). The door is open for the storm tract to dig farther south now and bring cold storms out of the Gulf of Alaska. Whether Three Rivers ends up dry or wet this season remains to be seen. Temperatures will average below normal for the next 15 days with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.