Jan 12 2018

Piedmont Prohibition of Short-term Rentals on City Council Agenda Tuesday, January 16

Following years of deferment, Piedmont City Council to tackle short-term rentals.

“At its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., the City Council will consider the prohibition of short-term rentals. Given the recommendations of the Planning Commission, the fact that short-term rentals would have a detrimental effect on the City’s ability to supply long-term housing in conformance with the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan and the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, and based upon recommended findings, staff is recommending the City Council adopt an ordinance prohibiting all short-term rentals.”

The Piedmont City Council has had pending consideration of short-term rentals, such as AirBNB since 2014.  

Cities throughout the nation have prohibited or allowed short term rentals; some have placed huge business taxes on legal short-term rentals to offset municipal administrative costs.  A number of cities have adopted a compromise approach, limiting the total short term rental days at each address to no more than 30 days per year.  Piedmont proposes no rentals under 30 days of length.

While numbers of Piedmonters have complained about short-term rentals impacting their residential property with unknown individuals coming and going late at night, disruption of the quiet neighborhood feel, strangers making unexpected and inappropriate noise in their neighborhood and safety concerns, nothing to date had been done by the City Council.  There was one widely publicized instance of robbers using a Piedmont short term rental address and then attempting an escape through a neighbors property.

Some Piedmont residents seek short term rentals as a business opportunity to offset mortgages, increase their income, provide occupancy during their short term vacancies, or reduce costs for their Piedmont home.

At one public hearing a contingency of organized supporters from outside of Piedmont asked that short term rentals be allowed.

In certain instances, neighbors have found it is better to have short term rental use next to them, rather than a permanent rental of secondary residential units.

The uses of residences in Piedmont for business purposes, such as AirBNB, have long been prohibited under Piedmont’s Home Occupation Ordinance, which does not allow the use of a home for business purposes without a permit.  The ordinance states no business invitees can visit the premises. Some scofflaws have enriched themselves while not being compliant with City laws.

Piedmont’s Home Occupation Ordinance states:

“b. The occupational use shall not generate pedestrian or vehicular traffic or parking needs beyond that normal to the district or neighborhood in which it is located.  No business invitees shall be permitted to visit the premises; provided however that direct sales may occur from a cottage food operation. “ Piedmont Home Occupation Ordinance

Publicity and advertisements of Home Occupation businesses in Piedmont are limited.

“7. No advertising using address. There may be no advertising, notices, publications or other written or oral means used to connect the occupation with the premises, and in particular there may be no use of the address in any way connected with the occupation. This restriction does not prohibit: (a) the use of business cards, stationery or invoices with the address of the premises; or (b) the normal advertising or the posting of signs related to the rental or sale of the property, as otherwise permitted by this code. “ Piedmont  Home Occupation Ordinance

The Council > staff report of 74 pages describes the history and proposed regulations for short-term rentals that Council will be considering at this meeting. It includes correspondence and information on other nearby cities actions in regard to short-term rentals.

Here is the > agenda for the City Council meeting of January 16, 2018. 

More information, including staff reports, and minutes of the Planning Commission and City Council can be found on the City’s website at:


Written comments may be submitted to the City Council via email at citycouncil@ci.piedmont.ca.us or via US Mail addressed to City Clerk John Tulloch at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.


Kevin Jackson, AICP

Planning Director

City of Piedmont

120 Vista Avenue

Piedmont, CA 94611

Tel: (510) 420-3039

Fax: (510) 658-3167

Leave a Comment