The decision came after the second reading of an ordinance that will amend Chapter 6 of Title 10 of the Siskiyou County Code to put the acreage rule in place. Multiple Mount Shasta residents came before the supervisors at previous meetings to share their opinions about codifying the ordinance. The majority were in support of the change.

After much discussion on the topic over multiple meetings, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Aug. 6 to allow vacation rentals within the sphere of influence of the City of Mount Shasta only on properties of 2.5 acres or more.

The decision came after the second reading of an ordinance that will amend Chapter 6 of Title 10 of the Siskiyou County Code to put the acreage rule in place. Multiple Mount Shasta residents came before the supervisors at previous meetings to share their opinions about codifying the ordinance. The majority were in support of the change.

District 4 Supervisor Lisa Nixon wasn’t present for the first reading of the ordinance but said she had listened to the audio minutes on the topic. It was determined that she would need to listen to the audio in order to vote on the ordinance.

She told her fellow supervisors, “I don’t think the problem is the short term vacation rentals themselves ... What I see here is it’s not being conducted properly and it’s tearing these neighborhoods apart.”

Nixon said she doesn’t believe the county currently has the “bandwidth” to go out and develop an enforcement protocol and actually enforce the rules surrounding the rental properties.

She explained that she was inclined to vote in favor of the ordinance because she saw it as the only way to address the problems happening in the neighborhoods within the City of Mount Shasta’s sphere of influence. She also issued a “challenge” to homeowners within the sphere who want to enter into the vacation rental industry, encouraging them to self police and find ways to address the issues at hand.

Noting that she’d like to revisit the topic in the future, Nixon proposed, “Why don’t the citizens come to us and give us a plan to make it work?”

History

Discussion of vacation rentals in Mount Shasta and its sphere of influence dates back to 2003, when the former board of supervisors approved Resolution 03-121, which set a minimum lot size for vacation rentals and increased the public notice requirements to include a 500 foot radius and an 1/8 page newspaper ad.

When current county staff looked back at the discussion surrounding the issue in 2003, they did not find any specific dialogue in the record that lead to the establishment of the 2.5 acre minimum parcel size requirement, “but could speculate that there were considerations as to noise, traffic, and potentially a reference to the county’s minimum lot size requirement,” according to Siskiyou County Community Development Director Christy Cummings Dawson.

At its April 2 meeting, the board of supervisors directed county staff to codify the portion of Board Resolution 03-121 requiring vacation rentals to be on properties of 2.5 acres or larger.

However, the Siskiyou County Planning Commission voted the idea down, citing concerns about a decrease in potential revenue for the county in Transient Occupancy Tax. The item then came back before the board of supervisors which opted to begin a public hearing to codify the ordinance. The first reading of the ordinance took place July 2.

The new ordinance will go into effect in 30 days. Properties that are already vacation rentals will be grandfathered in.