Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

California resident Christina Nigrelli is helping to spearhead a movement to combat unruly Airbnb rentals.

Nigrelli, the co-founder of the Long Beach Safe Neighborhood Coalition, is one of many Long Beach citizens across multiple neighborhoods seeking to ban un-hosted short-term rental units (STRs) by petitioning the city council. 

She considered this move a last resort after enduring neighboring tenants doing drugs and hosting loud parties well into the night.

“I haven’t had very many good nights’ sleep since February when it opened up next to me. And between the way our homes were designed, all of my bedroom windows are adjacent to their driveway,” Nigrelli told Fox News Digital. 

Nine Long Beach neighborhoods filed a petition to require short-term rental hosts to be on site or risk losing their license. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CALIFORNIA NEIGHBORHOOD BANS SHORT-TERM AIRBNB RENTALS AFTER DRUG PARTIES, SHOOTING

She continued, “Guests are coming not with this idea that they’re building a relationship with neighbors, so they arrive at any time they want. They slam their car doors closed. My dogs start barking. They slam the gates closed. They’re not allowed to smoke in the house, but they smoke whatever they want. Marijuana, cigarettes, you name it. And they tend to do that in the driveway under my bedroom windows.” 

Going online, she discovered several locals suffering the same issue, including College Estates resident Andy Oliver who filed a similar petition after a shooting victim from an STR ended up in his yard.

Oliver, she recounted, discovered a city ordinance passed in 2020 that permitted Long Beach to have up to 1,000 un-hosted or unsupervised short-term rentals. However, a provision allowed residents to circulate petitions that could ban these types of rentals, something both quickly utilized.

The city, she explained, provided little support since complaints about Airbnb and STRs needed to be verified by a city staff member in an understaffed complaint line. She added that filing a petition on the issue costs $1050, which is more than four times the cost of an STR license.

“This whole ordinance and everything feels like they’re not in favor of their constituents, the residents, the people that live here and vote. It’s really for all those that want to have short-term rentals,” Nigrelli said.

Long Beach Safe Neighborhood Coalition co-founder Christina Nigrelli spoke to Fox News Digital. (Fox News Digital/Getty Images)

Some renters have voiced their concerns over what potential bans could do to their income. Though Nigrelli acknowledged their concerns, she politely disagreed.

“There’s going to be two sides of the story, and mine comes from what I have to endure and what I have to live next to. I don’t feel safe. There isn’t any focus on prevention like I’ve shared,” she remarked.

Nigrelli continued, “What I would say to those that run this as a business, that this is a residential neighborhood. A business to me sounds like work. Quite frankly, it is. It’s a hotel. And so you want to run a business, go run a business where a business belongs. Don’t bring your business into a residential neighborhood. This is a community,” Nigrelli said.

SHOOTING AT CALIFORNIA AIRBNB HOUSE PARTY WITH NEARLY 200 JUVENILES LEAVES 1 DEAD, ANOTHER WOUNDED

She added, “A hotel has security. They have managers. There is someone on site. It is hosted. A hotel is hosted.”

The city is expected to respond to Nigrelli’s petition, along with eight other Long Beach neighborhood petitions, by June.

Nigrelli is still awaiting the city’s response to her petition, but Oliver’s efforts paid off earlier this month with over half of the approximately 800 homes in his area agreeing to sign, successfully passing new restrictions in his neighborhood.

House rentals in the College Estates neighborhood will now have to either convert to a supervised rental, where the host is on site, or shut down the property after their license expires.

College Estates resident Andy Oliver successfully petitioned his neighborhood to restrict Airbnbs and other short-term rentals. (Chesnot/Getty Images)

Though the coalition was primarily focused on Long Beach, Nigrelli remarked that they have since gotten responses from other states such as North Carolina and Florida. She has also been in contact with other neighborhood coalitions.

She described, “We’re now becoming this larger network of sharing all of our resources. And it’s the same issue, this whole concept of [unhosted rentals]. The biggest point personally I would make is prevention. That’s what we should all focus on. There shouldn’t be any challenges. And in a lot of cities where there are problems, it’s because like with Long Beach, it’s a lack of enforcement. It’s a lack of infrastructure. The cart was well before the horse.”

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“I don’t think it’s a unique problem to Long Beach. It’s certainly not unique in the United States. I think it’s a bigger problem everywhere,” Nigrelli said.

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