ST. HELENA — The owners of an illegal short-term rental on Valley View Street have agreed to pay $20,000 in penalties to the city of St. Helena, according to a settlement agreement announced last week.
“The city is pleased with this second short-term rental settlement,” City Manager Jennifer Phillips said. “Coupled with the third-party review of all identified illegal short-term rentals, I believe the city continues to send a strong message to the community that we will not tolerate such commercial violations of the city’s laws.”
After learning of the illegal short-term rental in June, the city sent a cease-and-desist letter to Paul and Paula Rosdol, the owners of 1134 Valley View St., who did not have a short-term rental permit. In July, the Rosdols paid $14,600 in delinquent transient occupancy taxes, including penalties and interest, going back to January 2014.
A month later, the St. Helena Planning Commission unanimously denied the Rosdols’ request for a short-term rental permit, siding with neighbors who said the permit would fundamentally change their neighborhood by introducing a high-impact commercial enterprise into a residential area.
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At that August meeting, Paula Rosdol said the part-time rentals would have minimal impact on neighbors, with no more than four guests at a time and property managers living around the corner who could deal with complaints.
In October, the city issued another letter to the Rosdols seeking civil penalties, eventually resulting in the $20,000 settlement.
In 2012, the city of St. Helena adopted an ordinance establishing permit requirements for the short-term rental (less than 30 days) of single-family homes. The ordinance prohibits short-term rentals without a permit and requires the collection and payment of transient occupancy taxes.