Vacation rentals have become a point of contention in Mount Shasta, where many residents living in the Holiday Lane subdivision in particular are complaining that the peace in their neighborhood has been ruined by the operation of unpermitted vacation rentals.

Numerous Mount Shasta residents traveled to Yreka to attend the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors April 2 meeting, when permitting for vacation rentals within the City of Mount Shasta’s sphere of influence was discussed.

Vacation rentals have become a point of contention in Mount Shasta, where many residents living in the Holiday Lane subdivision in particular are complaining that the peace in their neighborhood has been ruined by the operation of unpermitted vacation rentals. Such operation, they say, has at times meant large groups of people and animals occupying a house and creating noise in the late night and early morning hours.

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors originally drafted a resolution to “reduce land use conflicts associated with vacation rentals ... within the Mt. Shasta sphere of influence” back in 2003. Three policies were proposed by the resolution:

• No new vacation rentals would be permitted on a property less than 2.5 acres

• Notice of public hearing for any new vacation rental use permit would include notification to landowners within 500 feet of the subject property and a 1/8 page advertisement in a local newspaper

• Increased enforcement and compliance efforts to promote equity and minimize land use conflicts

However, the 2003 resolution was never codified, so it has remained merely advisory and not law.

During a public comment period on the item, Holiday Lane subdivision resident Ron Kneebone came forward and told the board that in the past year, six unpermitted vacation rentals have cropped up within a 1,000 foot radius in his neighborhood. Since then, he said, the former peace in the area is gone.

He claimed that there is no supervision with vacation rentals, such as monitoring the occupancy of a rental or the number of vehicles. As long as a person has a credit card to rent a space, he said, there is no screening or monitoring. Kneebone asked the board to codify the resolution.

Holiday Lane resident Steve Pigoni also told the board that codifying the resolution would be a good starting point and would help “stop illegal vacation rentals and open up housing for people wanting to move to the area.” He added, “Families build communities, not vacation rentals.”

Other Holiday Lane homeowners expressed concern that increased occupancy in the area would put a strain on the local water systems operated by Lake Siskiyou Mutual Water Company. Local Tom Carter noted that the wells run near max capacity at peak use; adding vacation rentals would likely overtax the water and sewer systems, he said.

One Holiday Lane dweller came forward in favor of vacation rentals, and asked the board not to codify the resolution. “There are just as many positive reasons to have vacation rentals in the community as there are negative reasons,” he said.

Ultimately, the board voted unanimously to codify just one aspect of the resolution – the portion which sets forth that no new vacation rentals will be allowed on a property that is less than 2.5 acres. This new restriction will not go into effect immediately, however, as an ordinance must still be drafted and passed.