Monday December 18th 2017
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Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

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Dear Editor – STR Creates Neighborhood Stress, City Not Responsive

Light-bulb-0003-300x198Dear Editor,

My wife and I have made dozens of complaints to Marien Aspnes, Code Enforcement Services Manager, over the last 8 months regarding our neighbor, a tenant who is AirBNB’ing two additional rooms as short term rentals. Despite the fact that this alone is illegal in Culver City, more has been asked of our complaints rather than the legality and our continuous efforts have been held in limbo as the city has been considering the issue for what we have learned has been over 18 months.

The obvious complaints include:

* Noise, sometimes 3:00 am.

* Cars parked on the street, often illegally during street sweeping, or more than 3 feet from the curb.

* People smoking outside the house, smoke wafting into our own home.

* Uber drivers coming and going daily, speeding in, paying attention to their phone apps, blocking our driveways, sometimes even parking and hanging out for hours.

* Strangers with their luggage, never knowing who’s coming or going. We are unfamiliar with our surroundings, or being secure with a neighborhood watch which can no longer determine who is out of the ordinary.

* People going through ours and the neighborhood trash, being confrontational to neighbors when approached, including to Norm and Carol, a retired couple at the corner house who sat with us at the planning discussion on January 25th, 2017.

Insanely this happens often and is apparently a ‘thing’. On a separate occasion, two men from the AirBNB wandered around the street sifting through all neighbors trash cans before returning to their vehicle, pulling out some items, dumping liquids in the street, eating and essentially loitering at our driveway, then placing trash several houses down toward Sawtelle over a period of 15 minutes.

And while we have had a contact number for the owner, the owner, a Los Angeles Police Officer, refuses to do anything. Knowing of the situation, he rents to one tenant who advertises multiple rooms, and thus he himself is operating a hotel, as my wife has referred to as #hotel6. Renting multiple rooms or having a triplex or multiplex, even long term, is a code violation in itself in R1 residential zones. Multiple citations can be made based on the complaints we have made but it continues.

Three minutes with the City Council at a planning discussion is simply not enough time when we have spent 8 months dealing with so many issues since the tenant moved into this rental.

THE PROBLEM WITH AIRBNB IN CULVER CITY

I decided to address the issue of home sharing sites like AirBNB and HomeAway head on as it relates to enforcement and economic impact on Culver City as discussed by the Council and Planning Committee on January 25th. The process I took was to open AirBNB make a search, locate the offender, and report the offense. I wanted to do this to express my concerns not only regarding the AirBNB next door but to demonstrate how it affects the neighbors, those immediate property owners, local tax paying citizens, and voters of the Culver City community.

One of the current AirBNB occupants drove madly into the street at a high rate of speed, parking on the opposite side of the road and walked into the house. Video shows him returning to his vehicle placing trash, a bottle, in the street and then departing.

 

First, it can be immediately noticed, that this is in fact a business and not a home.

Culver City needs to enforce it’s current laws.

Sincerely,

Stephen Paull

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