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Sonoma City Council to tackle vacation rentals at Monday meeting

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Monday’s regular City Council meeting will bypass the ongoing discussion on whether to loan Sonoma Splash a half-million dollars, putting that off to September and opting instead to tackle vacation rentals.

A recently completed Vacation Rental Review Program found that roughly half of local properties being used as vacation rentals have failed to comply with city regulations, costing the city tens of thousands of dollars in lost Transient Occupancy Tax, or TOT, revenue.

The study, commissioned by the city last year, identified 46 properties that either had not purchased the annual business license, failed to pay the tax – or both.

In response to these and other potential problems with vacation rentals — which have come to the fore ever since online sharing services such as Airbnb made it easier to rent out properties in tourism-friendly places like Sonoma — the city on Monday plans to hold a “discussion of the parameters of the current ordinance.”

Other topics on the agenda for Monday include possible approval of a resolution in favor of the settlement agreement with the city’s current landfill operator.

And the council will consider declaring a stage 2 water shortage, resulting in stricter guidelines for water use in Sonoma city limits.

Monday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W.