We worked hard to block Vacation Rentals in our residential area. It took two-plus years to obtain an “X over layment” Zoning from the County. Now, a company called Pacaso is circumventing that zoning by purchasing a home and then selling fractional shares (LLC or Time-share) in the ownership, making them vacation homes.
I am not opposed to time-shares in the appropriately zoned areas, but not in residential areas.
Some Background: Pacaso was founded in 2020 by Zillow co-founder and former CEO Spencer Rascoff and founder and former CEO of dotloop, Austin Allison. According to Forbes, “The company specializes in subdividing vacation homes among multiple owners, in most cases buying them up front and managing their use. The startup says it has also secured $1 billion in debt financing.“ With its deep pockets and slick marketing, Pacaso thinks it can do business in any community and ignore regulations pertaining to time-shares, vacation rentals, and transient occupancy. Their position seems to be that because a vacation home is owned by an LLC, rather than being rented, none of these regulations apply.
As I understand it, they have purchased 1405 Old Winery Court and turned it into a time-share. They are not doing just “high-end homes,” but homes in nice neighborhoods. A group of neighbors have started a petition to stop time-shares in our residential area. This petition is to oppose the incursion of Pacaso’s fractional ownership vacation homes into the residential neighborhoods of Sonoma and nearby communities.
I highly encourage all of you to sign the petition (at Change.org) and get involved. Those of you living in the City of Sonoma may have to start your own petition.
— Micki Goedewaagen, Sonoma