Elsa Cort, Mike Hauber, and Damien Malek, all rental property owners in Three Rivers, spoke on the record at the September 25 meeting. Cort and Hauber live in Three Rivers; Malek is a Visalia resident who owns a Three Rivers house that he uses as a short-term rental. the STR
Cort said she owns the longest continuously operating short-term rental in Tulare County, having operated a Three Rivers bed and breakfast (Cort Cottage) since 1986. She explained that in 1987 there was a requirement to have a special use permit in residential zoning because her guest cottage was a separate structure from her primary dwelling. Had Cort rented up to two rooms in the home she occupied, no permit would have been necessary she was informed.
Hauber owns Sierra General Engineering and builds property infrastructure including septic systems. The point of Hauber’s testimony was to urge the County to review all septic designs to compare against the allowable capacity for each rental property.
If the number of bedrooms exceeds the capacity the septic system was designed to accommodate, then the property owner should be required to upgrade the system to comply with Tulare County Environmental Health standards, Hauber said.
“We can’t afford to pollute our rivers,” he said. “By then it is too late.”
Malek said his vacation rental has never had a problem. To pass an ordinance would be adding unnecessary regulations and duplicating County services.
These comments are offered as Part 2 from the September 25 meeting. More from other speakers will be included in upcoming posts leading up to next week’s public hearing (Wednesday, Oct. 16) in front of the Tulare County Planning Commission.
County planners will recommend approval by the Planning Commission as soon as the October 16 meeting. A copy of the updated ordinance is available for download by clicking the image below.
Videography and video editing by Ethan Paggi
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