June 25, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Federal Court Dismisses Class-Action Suit Against Santa Monica’s Vacation Rental Ban

Ninth Circut rejects claim that City’s regulations violate Commerce Clause of Constitution

By Sam Catanzaro

A federal court has upheld the City of Santa Monica’s short term vacation rental ordinance in the face of a class-action lawsuit.

Santa Monica has some of the strictest home-share regulations in the United States. Santa Monica’s ordinance prohibits property rentals of 30 days or less with an exception for rentals where a primary resident remains in the dwelling.

The plaintiff in the class-action case is Arlene Rosenblatt, a Santa Monica resident and homeowner who, prior to the ordinance’s passage in 2015, rented out her house on Airbnb for $350 per night when she and her husband traveled. After the City of Santa Monica enacted the ordinance, Rosenblatt sued the city and Santa Monica City Council to repeal the ordinance and recover damages on behalf of herself and a class of similarly situated individuals, claiming that the ordinance violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which denies the States the power unjustifiably to discriminate against or burden the interstate flow of articles of commerce.

Rosenblatt claimed that the development of the online marketplace for short term rentals allowed tourists to opt for less expensive residential rentals over luxurious, highly occupied and pricey hotels in Santa Monica. According to Rosenblatt, Santa Monica’s real reason for enacting the vacation rental ordinance was to prop up demand for the city’s high-end hotels and thereby reverse a decline in revenue from the City’s 14 percent transient occupancy tax, which the hotels paid but the vacation rentals did not.

In her opinion, however, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, said the ordinance is not a per se violation of the dormant Commerce Clause because it does not directly regulate interstate commerce.

“The panel rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the ordinance violates the dormant Commerce Clause by directly regulating booking and payment transactions that may occur entirely out-of-state. The panel held that the ordinance applies evenhandedly and does not directly restrain interstate commerce.”

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

“The ordinance penalizes only conduct in Santa Monica, regardless of whether the visitors are in-state or out-of-state. The panel rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the ordinance violates the dormant Commerce Clause by directly regulating booking and payment transactions that may occur entirely out-of-state. The panel held that the ordinance applies evenhandedly and does not directly restrain interstate commerce although it may regulate transactions with an interstate component,” Nguyen wrote.

In August, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its rejection of Airbnb, Inc. and Homeaway.com’s challenge to the City of Santa Monica’s Home-Sharing Ordinance in a separate case. Airbnb, Inc. and Homeaway.com argued that the City’s ordinance ran afoul of the Communications Decency Act and the First Amendment because it required the platforms to monitor the content of third-party listings on their sites and remove listings for unlicensed properties.

Related Posts

The Los Angeles Real Estate Market May Finally Be Slowing Down

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Real estate sales drop 21 percent in past year By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles real estate market is showing...

Redevelopment Complete of Former Westside Pavilion Macy’s

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Developer announces complete of West End at Pico and Overland Developer HLW, on behalf of GPI Companies and in partnership...

Mayor Himmelrich’s Tax Transfer Measure Is Favored to Qualify for the November Election

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

In a cursory review, the City Clerk’s office verified 10,277 of the over 11,000 signatures  By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica...

Active Shooter Training Set for Santa Monica Middle School Friday

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Drill to take place at John Adams Middle School Friday morning By Sam Catanzaro ​​An active shooter training will take...

Metro Church and Cafe Fundraising To Keep Space in Santa Monica

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Non-profit church and coffee shop shut down following false vermin complaint By Dolores Quintana Metropolis Santa Monica is a multi-use...

New Coffee Shop Open on Montana Avenue

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Go Get ‘Em Tiger up and running on corner of Montana and 10th  By Dolores Quintana A new coffee shop...

15-Year Department Veteran Selected as Santa Monica’s Next Director of Library Services

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Erica Cuyugan leads Santa Monica Public Library After performing a nationwide search, the City of Santa Monica recently selected Erica...

Cardboard City Returning to Santa Monica This Weekend

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

5,000 square foot innovative pop-up art installation returns June 25 with opening ceremony  Cardboard City, a 5,000 square foot innovative...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

Santa Monica Resident Injured in Apartment Fire

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Pico Neighborhood apartment catches fire last week By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident was injured in an apartment fire...

Bonin Requests Lease Extension for a Bridge Home Homeless Shelter

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Motion currently pending in City Council committee  By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is pushing to extend...

Mountain Lion Killed by Vehicle Near the Same Spot Her Mother Was Fatally Struck in 2018

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

P-54 killed on Las Virgenes Road last Friday By Sam Catanzaro Not too far from where her mother was hit...

Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years: Santa Monica Beat – June 20th, 2022

June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years * Recreational Marijuana...

Santa Monica Families Earning Upwards of $190,000 Can Qualify for Mortgage Relief

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

State expands California Mortgage Relief Program By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica families earning upwards of $190,000 can qualify for mortgage...