LODI (CBS13) — An up-and-coming wine region is drawing an influx of tourists to the area, and complaints from neighbors.
“It’s the new Napa, a lot of new wineries popping up all the time,” said Robert Stemen.
With over 75,000 acres of vineyards, upwards of 100 wineries, and a downtown scene that’s growing quickly, Lodi is becoming more of a destination city.
“People are finding Lodi, they’re finding wine country and wanting to come here more and more,” said Lodi City Manager Steve Schwabauer.
But as the city of Lodi matures more investors are buying up homes as vacation rentals, causing a nuisance for many neighbors.
“It’s making it more of a hotel feel,” said resident Henry Selzle.
Neighbors in the community of South Sunset Drive are fed up with Airbnb renters taking up their neighborhoods.
“The cars all up and down the streets, the noise doesn’t stop at 10, we don’t know who is here, they’re in and out for the weekend, you don’t know What you’re getting,” said Nancy Mirko.
Mirko adds “my neighbor, she had drinkers, and pot smokers in a tree, looking into her bedroom window.”
“You don’t know who is gonna rent it out, there could be parties, cars parked in the streets all the time,” said Neighbor Mitch Brooks.
Neighbors have posted up signs reading:
“neighborhoods are for neighbors, not vacation rentals.” Some say half their blocks now have properties of this sort.
And a quick search on the Airbnb website lists hundreds of rentals just in Lodi alone.
“The purpose is to make Lodi more of a tourist spot for wine, but there’s got to be some type of regulation,” said Selzle.
“We haven’t had a huge crush of them up until the last year or two,” said Schwabauer.
The city of Lodi does not currently have any regulations on where the vacation rentals can go.
“We have staff taking a look at it to see what concentrations we have in some of our neighborhoods and proposing solutions to make sure they don’t overwhelm neighborhoods,” said Schwabauer.
Some may call it growing pains of an up and coming region, but others question at what cost?
“There are a lot of families with kids, they want to be safe,” said Mirko.
The City asks people with complaints to contact the Community Development Department. The department will be proposing ordinances, and there will likely be a public discussion to get input on solutions.