PASO ROBLES, CA – On Tuesday, February 19, 2019 the City Council will be considering a request from Council Member John Hamon to repeal the urgency ordinance related to short-term vacation rentals that was recently adopted.
PASO ROBLES, CA – On Tuesday, February 19, 2019 the City Council will be considering a request from Council Member John Hamon to repeal the urgency ordinance related to short-term vacation rentals that was recently adopted. The request was made after Council Member Hamon realized that he has an indirect interest in a short-term rental that could be considered a conflict of interest.
“I want to be sure that any ordinance regarding short-term rentals that is adopted by the City Council is properly adopted and without any possible conflict of interest,” Hamon said. “This is an important issue for the City, and the process should be completely above-board.”
On February 5, the Council considered an urgency ordinance and a regular ordinance to regulate short-term rentals in the City. At that time, Council Member Hamon believed he did not have a conflict of interest because of a short-term rental that is wholly-owned by a trust created by and for his parents. Because Council Member Hamon has no ownership interest in the property, nor has he or any member of his immediate family received any income from the short-term rental, he believed he could participate in the discussion and vote on the urgency ordinance and first reading of a regular ordinance on short-term rentals. Under the regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission, property ownership and income are two of the types of interests that can create a conflict of interest requiring recusal.
However, upon further investigation, it was determined that Council Member Hamon is one of the trustees of his parents’ trust. Based on this indirect interest and after conferring with the City Attorney, the City Attorney recommended that the most prudent course of action would be to ask the City Council to consider repealing the urgency ordinance and to request that the Council direct staff not to bring the regular ordinance back for second reading. Council Member Hamon will recuse himself from participating in the consideration of any new short-term rental ordinance.
The Council’s February 19, 2019 agenda will include an item to consider the repeal of the urgency ordinance and to direct staff not to bring the regular ordinance back for second reading. (Regular ordinances require two readings before they can be enacted.) In addition, the City will soon empanel a Short-term Rental Task Force of stakeholders who will be charged with developing recommendations for City Council review. This will further ensure that any regulations are fully vetted through a public and open process.
Jim Cogan Assistant City Manager