From the Highland STRs group:

The PC staff is having a meeting in Big Sur next week [Tuesday at 9:30 at the Lodge] where they will be recommending/announcing they will be restricting STR’s to “Home Stays”  in a Host’s permanent residence, and only while they are actually living/staying there.  We discussed this in our last meeting, and now the shape of it is better known.  We will need (at some point) to decide whether Carmel Highlands wants to end up with a identical situation.

It is a compromise from the PC’s previous position, and it does accomplish some of what we have been fighting for.  The key things missing are enforcement and ADA. It is not clear where traffic, leach field, water, advertising and other issues end up from our point of view, but it is clearly better than before.  There is also a technical issue on the number of people a Host can rent to because the draft ordinance limit of two times the number of bedrooms doesn’t leave a room for the owner.
On enforcement: responsibility for enforcement shifts entirely to the neighbors from a practical point of view.  The County is substituting an ordinance it won’t enforce, to one it can’t enforce.  On the other hand, fines are way up, and we might have the same legal options we have now (requires legal verification).  And paying a firm for enforcement is cheaper than litigation against the County and Coastal Commission.
I know there are some in our group who have favored this approach, at least in concept. It is also similar to the approach being supported by Carmel Valley.
Please read it carefully when you have a chance, think about it, and let’s communicate our thoughts to each other. (Or in Big Sur’s Case, at the meeting on Tuesday)
There is a bit more info on the website – specifically from Mary Adams office.

Planning Commission Draft Ordinance – “Home Stays” Simplified Explanation



No more than two (2) times the total number of bedrooms

Home Stay Definition

There are two different kinds:

A.     The STR unit is the STR Operator’s principal residence, and the STR Operator resides at the STR site while it is occupied by short-term renters.

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that are defined as homestays, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and: Are a primary residence, are consistent with the BSLUP and should be allowed.

B.     The STR unit is not the STR Operator’s principal residence

Planning Commission staff makes the following preliminary recommendation (for Big Sur):

• STRs that would require a Coastal Development Permit (equivalent to the “Use Permit” in the Draft Ordinance), are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed.

• STRs that are to be rented 12 times per year or fewer and not more than 2 times per year (referred to herein as “low-frequency STR”) and are not a primary residence, are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed 

• Un-Hosted Short-Term Rental or Un-Hosted STR: A short-term rental whereby the STR Operator does not reside at the STR site while it is occupied by short- term renters are not consistent with the BSLUP and should not be allowed 

Native CA coastal plants smuggling

Keep an eye out on our coastal bluffs for this activity:

Here is the original story by Lisa Krieger, and it is more thorough, better written, and has  the photos.

Smugglers Caught Trafficking Thousands Of Stolen California Succulents

“SANTA CRUZ (KPIX) – A group of people smuggling succulent plants were busted in Northern California.

Wildlife detectives from several agencies made three separate busts along the north coast in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.

Rare and native plants were pulled from the soil and shipped overseas.

It was an international smuggling ring that was trafficking not in guns or drugs, but native California succulent plants called Dudleyas.

“Pretty unusual case for us,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy. “Like nothing we’ve seen before in terms of the scale and the type of poaching involved.”

California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators busted up the ring in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, where they say poachers were scaling coastal bluffs to rip the plants out of the ground by the thousands.

They would then allegedly ship them to China and Korea where they would be sold on the black market for $40 to $50 each.”

For the rest of the article and the video, go here: