BSMAAC Meeting Friday May 17th

This Friday, starting at 10 am at the Conference Center at the Lodge in the Big Sur Campground, a meeting (one of four per year) is shaping up to be one that will be very well attended by those on both sides of the issue regarding rentals in Big Sur.

Should we save our very limited housing for local community, or should property owners be allowed to rent out their guest houses/caretaker cottages/trailers to those looking to vacation here for a weekend, a week, or a month?

I have been contacted by a number of people on both sides of this issue regarding my position and requesting that I post something supporting one side or the other. I can see both sides, have mixed feeling about both sides, so declined to do so. I will be happy to provide a balanced and unbiased forum for both sides, after the meeting, but will not favor one side over any of the others.

This post is just to inform readers about the issue and the meeting. If one wants to get an idea about the magnitude of the issue and get a bit of information about short-term rentals, just go to (vacation rentals by owner) and pursue some of the 59 places offered for rent in this large, geographically, but small population community. It is quite the eye-opener.

See you at the meeting, where I hope we can be respectful of differing opinions.


6 thoughts on “BSMAAC Meeting Friday May 17th

  1. guddanya Kate

    I have a position on this issue, but i am so distressed that it’s become about “sides” and each side thinks they’ve got God on theirs….what if we realized we’re all in this together, it’s a complicated issue that old timers who do rent their houses out are actually really decent people who want to honor the concerns of those who don’t?

    Einstein said what if we looked at an apparent contradiction and asked what if both sides are true: then contradiction becomes paradox and a fertile ground for problem solving..

    Right now the only ones who’ll win are the lawyers…Many of us came to Big Sur to get away from name calling and vilification…Let’s remember how blessed we are to live here, and maybe it’s possible to honor and respect Big Sur even though we have differing opinions on how best to do that.

    slow down, pay attention, breath, relax, and most of all, Lighten up

  2. it is too bad that big sur has succumbed to the whims and desires of the wealthy. how can a place with such a steep history be solely available for those who can afford to shell out ridiculous amounts of money for just a weekly rental? $200 a night? what world is this?
    blessed be to live here, but do not forget that big sur cannot just be an enclave for millionaires. there are countless homeless people floating around here, looking for serious housing while working minimum wage jobs to keep the big sur economy steady…
    there is no compassion left if there can be no housing for the least fortunate.

  3. Ragged Point- cheapest room $199. Nepenthe won’t allow dogs on their patios. We now camp at approx. $20 per night. I think that the ” rich” people are already vacationing here. I don’t think money is the problem, rich or poor, it’s the unappreciative, selfish people that make us all miserable, whether it is where we live most of the year or vacation.

  4. I checked out the website to see some of the rentals in the Big Sur and surrounding areas. My opinion is, if the rich people who own these rentals can afford to own a primary residence AND a rental on this prime real estate, then it’s a free country. I’m sure that there are quite a few people who save up for a quiet get away that are not RICH. They are working people who deserve to spend their money anywhere they want. The rental for $2000/wk is a bargain for someone who might otherwise choose a cruise, which could cost double that for two people. But, like some renters, which I’m sure all of us have observed, they have given all renters a bad name. In our younger years, we have all rented. In my case, we took care of apartments or houses that we rented, like it was our own property. Some do not and are very inconsiderate to neighbors. So I would say that these rentals are not necessarily an enclave for millionaires. Millionaires could BUY property there if they wanted, why rent? Some might be millionaire renters, but so what? Caretaker/Resident/Worker, if you would rather have homeless using these expensive rentals, I hope you are living close by to see what happens to the property values. With low incomes, I’m sure they will really take care of things (right). Just my opinion. Live and let live. I hope it’s satisfactorily resolved for all of you up there. Personally, I would not want to spend my money renting a nice get away in Big Sur, knowing that the locals think I don’t have a right to be there just because I have saved up money for a year or two to be there.

  5. I am one of those people Judi Bell describes. Big Sur is like no other place on earth, and although I live in the East, I come out every year. Every month the first money I put aside is toward the rent on the guesthouse in Big Sur I was lucky enough one day to find. To be able to actually stay there, rather than being limited to day trips, which is what I did for years, is a transformative – and much deeper – experience of this extraordinary place. The owners have become my friends. I have great respect for those of you who actually live here and are stewards of this surpassingly beautiful land, and who consequently face challenges in your daily life no longer familiar to us in the more urban world. Among these challenges are, sadly, clueless and arrogant tourists, but believe me, you have no corner on that market. I would be sad to be closed out as a result of their actions.

  6. Hazel, you would not be “closed out” and no one is suggesting we close out tourists – they are the life blood of Big Sur. There are cabins, rooms, tents, campgrounds offered by tourist -serving businesses. The question of short-term rentals on private property is much more complex than just how tourists behave or mis-behave. In 1999, the majority of Big Surians decided to keep private property, well, private. In 1984, Big Sur mobilized to keep this place from becoming a National Park. There is a constant need to shift to stay in balance personally and as a community. I think that is what is going on now – the opportunity to explore what that balance is and what it means to us and our welcomed visitors.

    bigsurkate, on a mountain top in Big Sur

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