Posts Tagged ‘healdsburg vacation rentals’

Economic forecast sees recovery

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Reasons for hope are emerging and there are indications that things will get better amid a number of challenges that will remain for years to come.  These were the conclusions reached by Ben Stone, Sonoma County Econmic Development Board executive director and Steven Cochrane, PhD, an economist and managing director with Moody’s Economy.com.  “The worst is over, but there won’t be an immediate turnaround.  Signs of stability are emerging and some corrections will be made.  Nationally, the feeling is not panic any longer.”

Written by Gary Quackenbush, Business Journal

More positive news in Sonoma County

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Electrical wholesale Graybar leases space (by Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter)

One of NOrth America’s largest wholesale distributors of electrical, communications and networking products plans to open its first North Bay location here in August.  Graybar Electric Co., Inc. leaased 13,220 sq. feet at 237 Todd Road on June 2 after scouting locations since last fall.  Graybar has more than 220 locations in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rica, and has five locations in the Bay Area.

Sonoma County Jobs

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Some positive news — all we hear are layoffs, no credit, no spending and consumer confidence is down.  Here are some of the positives on which the press is not so quick to report:

Tri Vascular2 re-emerges with staf of 150 (reported by Loralee Steves, North Bay Business Journal) — the medical device maker has 150 employees now and will add another 20 before the year is out — a tribute to the belief its founders, workers and investors have in the products under development there.

Airport readies for terminal improvements (by Loralee Stevesn, North Bay Business Journal) The Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is getting ready for a major facelift, thanks to funds coming from 2 difference sources totaling more than 3.3 million….a baggage claim system…main terminal will be connected to the screening area and security checking will be relocated in the new space, freeing up space for 2 more checkin counters for 4 more agents.

Sonoma County Vacation Rental Restrictions

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Our last blog about the potential restrictions of vacation rentals in Sonoma County highlighted complaints, supervisor involvement and business practices by owners.  As guests, you can do your part to calm down this volatile situation by following a general code of conduct such as being respectful of neighbors, no loud music or amplified music played outdoors, observing quiet time after 10 p.m. and so on.  The Sonoma County Task Force, endorsed by the Sonoma County Lodging Association, has put together a Code of Conduct for both property owners and guests to help keep vacation rentals as a viable lodging alternative.

Here is the Guest  Code of Conduct:
We suggest that you incorporate a code of conduct for your guests in your rental contract to avoid problems with neighbors.  Please note that parties, events, and weddings require a special use permit from the county, but unless your rental is very remote it is a good idea to prohibit them rather than obtain the permit.

Code of Conduct for Vacation Rental Guests
This home has graciously been made available for you enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty of the neighborhood. Please bear in mind that you are staying in a residential area. We trust that you will show courtesy and respect to the neighbors and conduct yourself in a manner in keeping with the neighborhood practices and local ordinances.
1.    Maximum occupancy:  The maximum overnight occupancy of this residence is limited to the number specified in your rental agreement. Sleeping bags, air- beds, tents, and cots are not allowed.
2.    Number of people allowed on the property:  The number of people allowed on the property at any given time may not exceed the overnight occupancy without prior permission. The County has strict ordinances regarding parties, events and weddings at vacation rental homes.  If you violate this policy, the penalty specified in your rental agreement will be applied.
3.    Parking:   Please do not exceed the available parking spaces provided for the property.  Do not block neighboring driveways.  Please maintain access for emergency vehicles at all times.
5.    Speed limits:   Please observe and obey all local speed limits; drive no more than 5-10 mph on private or shared private access roads.
6.    Amplified Music and Outside Noise:  All outside music and outside noise must stop between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Please be aware that noise from loud voices, laughing, and general socializing travels in this area and results in neighborhood disturbances. Please move outdoor conversations and activities indoors after 10:00 pm. The spa may be used after 10:00 p.m. provided that voices are kept to a minimum.
7.    Respond to all noise complaints:  Please respond to ANY request, even if it appears to be unreasonable, by a neighbor, owner of this property, law enforcement or private security firm. Please contact the owner immediately if you are contacted by a neighbor or the sheriff’s office with a complaint.
8.    Trespassing:  Please do not trespass on neighboring properties.
9.    Garbage:  Please recycle all garbage. Failure to recycle will result in additional charges. Garbage must be limited to the available garbage cans. Please call the owner to arrange for removal of excess garbage. Under no circumstances may you place garbage in the garbage cans throughout the neighborhood or leave it in bags where animals are likely to rummage.
10.    Energy and Water Consumption:  Please conserve the use of water and energy.  Use “green habits” to turn off lights and appliances when not in use and to avoid wasting water.  Excessive use of water and/or energy may subject you to an energy or water use surcharge.
11.    Smoking and fires:  Smoking is not allowed inside the house and is allowed only in designated outdoor areas.  Fireworks in the house or on the property are prohibited. Please be aware that there is severe fire danger in this area, particularly during June-November.
12.    Dogs:  If your rental agreement approves of a specified dog or dogs, please make sure you clean up after the dog, that you do not leave the dog alone in the house to bark or do damage, that you confine the dog to the property you have rented, and that you keep the dog on leash off the property.

We believe that if you and your guests comply with these common sense rules, your stay will be peaceful, relaxing and fun.  Our  neighbors have been provided with a copy of these rules and will report violations if they occur. If there are any violations, please be aware that enforcement is mandatory and you will be subject to immediate eviction, forfeiture of your security deposit, and/or other significant fines and penalties.  Thank you for your anticipated understanding and cooperation.

“Don’t know where to take the family out for the day, away from the city?”

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Don’t know where to take the family out for the day, away from the city?”

If you are in the bay area, and you need a day trip but don’t know where to go or what to do….How about taking your family on a canoe adventure down the Russian River? It is a lot of fun and highly recommend it to anyone; especially beginners. Even if it is your first time ever, there’s no doubt that you will make it through without any problem at all.

You can get away from the city hustle and bustle for a day, but the memories will last for many years. Enjoy the different birds chirping and the sound of the Russian River waters flowing….along the way see squirrels, and turtles.

You can book a canoe at Russian River Adventures. *make sure you tell them SonomaCountyVacations or Healdsburg Property Mgmt. sent ya!*

45 dollars for adults and 22 for kids under 12. You can fit 2 adults and 2 small children comfortably and they even allow you to bring your doggy with you! 🙂

You meet at Healdsburg a bit before 10AM

You walk 5 minutes to the river and get on your canoe after a short introduction, rules, advice.

After about 4-5 hours, you reach the destination where they pick you up and drive you back to your car.

You do need to paddle about two thirds of the time, but the river is very gentle and should be no problem for beginners.

I recommend buying sandwiches, drinks, and sweets (don’t forget plenty fluids!) and stashing them in a cooler. We had lunch in the canoe along the way. You can swim in the river too. On occasion, you might hit a tree or a branch but that’s normal – nothing to fret over. You can just get off the canoe and pull it through the difficult parts of it. Kids require life vests, and the canoe tipping over is a very rare occurrence.

They even provide you with a dry bag to keep your belongings dry. All you need to do is bring food, drinks, cooler, sunscreen and even a hat if you tan fast.

“Dry Creek Valley Wineries”

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Dry Creek Valley Wineries”

There are wineries in the Dry Creek Valley that are hidden treasures. Wilson Winery, Mauritson, Amista, Dry Creek Winery, Passalacqua, Michel-Schlumberger, Lambert Bridge and Quivira are definitely worth visiting if you’re in town! These wineries are gaining even more recognition over the years, and spending a weekend driving along Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg for wine tasting (with a designated driver, of course) will definitely be fun and memorable. Do bring your camera for this trip because the views of the valley are absolutely stunning! You will always remember Dry Creek Valley after this trip!

Also, if you get hungry and decide to take a break from wine tasting, you can stop by the Dry Creek General Store for drinks, chips, sandwiches, and salads. It’s a great store with a unique atmosphere, and is often frequented by a lot of people during weekends. It also has picnic tables in the front area for you to enjoy, just before you move on to your next destination.

Have fun discovering Dry Creek Valley!

Loving Lavender

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Loving Lavender”

Did you know that Sonoma County is also known for its vast and beautiful lavender fields? Yup, that’s right! Lavender flowers and its oil have been widely used over the years– from potpourri, confetti, herbalism and in food– and there are a number of lavender gardens here that you will surely enjoy!

And, if you love wine and lavender, why not enjoy both in one day? Matanzas Creek Winery will be holding its 13th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender on June 27th, 2009 from 1:00PM-4:00PM. This event will have a live band and a bocce ball court waiting for you and your friends, and of course, food and wine pairing!  Please visit http://www.matanzascreek.com/visit/events.html for more information. See you there!

Put Yourself in Someone Else’ Shoes

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

It’s not uncommon today to be quick to judge, complain, and voice our opinions of the lack of service we feel we should get.

Please take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s  shoes.  In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey, he talks about a story of a man taking the bus home with his 2 children.  The children are becoming more and more noisey, and in fact become quite a nuisance.  Finally a man speaks up to him and says “can’t you do something about your kids?”  The father says “Yes, I suppose I should, but their mother just passed away.  We’re coming back from the hospital and they don’t know how to take it.”

Doesn’t this story put a whole different perspective on an inconvenience?

We just experienced someone who ‘yelped’ one of our staff because of what they felt to be a lack of professionalism or service.  In fact this employee is very genuine, good hearted and patient.  This employee can get confused when presented with too many options, or when a potential guest or tenant doesn’t know what they want and are needing a deep level of service.  This person tries very hard, and processes information slower than average.

We expect people to be ‘right on the ball’ and move as quickly as we do, and when it doesn’t happen we get impatient and angry.

Remember that the person with whom you’re dealing may have had head injury, trauma from the war, or just a very bad day.  Let’s try and remember we’re all part of this together, and have a little patience when the car in front of you, driven by an older couple, doesn’t go as fast as you think they should.  Isn’t life too short for all that anger?

Sonoma County Vacation Regulations

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

This is one of several updates to all guests in all areas considering vacation rental stays in Sonoma County.  The PRMD department (permits) is making moves to make vacation rentals restricted and we believe eventually illegal in Sonoma County.  This means a traveler’s choice is limited to B & B’s, hotels, campgrounds and RV parks — no more houses — a real limitation for families.

At the root of this movement is Sonoma Valley, which has two sensative areas, one on Hoff Road and the other in Sobre Vista.  Apparently the noise and complaints were so out of hand that Supervisor Valerie Brown was called at night with complaints from the neighbors.  Upon looking into this further, however you will find hyper sensitive neighbors, blocking driveways, screaming at guests, and even installing security cameras to ‘catch’ illegal activity (not drugs mind your or not noisey parties, but things like excess vehicles, swimming in the pool after 10 p.m. and other ‘offenses’ along this venue).  One neighbor even complained to the Board of Supervisors about a wedding coming up in a month with 100 people and invited them to come look.  It turned out that the wedding was an owners best friend, not even a vacation rental guest.

The Press Democrat published an article on vacation rentals which sung the praises of these complaints, and painted a picture of out of control parties, weddings, events, thievery, etc.  This simply isn’t true.  Of over 800 noise complaints in all of Sonoma County (not just vacation rentals, but ALL noise complaints), only 30 were in sonoma valley, and almost none in the coastal or river areas.  That’s for a whole year mind you, and of those, a handful were for vacation rental.

Homes that are managed well either by a mangement company like Healsburg Property Management or Sonoma County Vacations, or a single homeowner who is actively involved with their rental typically do not have the problem, rather it’s the owner who throws up their product on VRBO and let it rip!

We are working with the board of supervisors and the tot board, and the PRMD and have established a code of conduct for both vacation rental guests and owners, to respect quiet time, neighbors, cars parked in the area, trash pick up, etc.  In the 20 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had theft at the home or in the area, and our guests have quieted down when called.  Generally it’s first night excitement in being all together, not to be unruley or difficult to neighbors.

It’s further been discussed that folks come from out of the area and don’t give a damn what they do when they’re here.  That’s simply not true.  As a rule of thumb we’ve not only had respectful guests, but they’ve often participated in charity events, come to live here, helped support our communities financially and even bought a 2nd home themselves.

Please write the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and explain how you’ve handled yourselves during past stays, taken care of the home, been respectful of the neighbors, etc.  If you don’t want to see vacation rentals go away, it’s very important!!!  The Supervisors do listen!

Walking in Healdsburg

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Evening walks are great this time of year as the weather warms up during the day the evenings cool breezes help you to unwind and enjoy the settings. There are many great places for a stroll such as downtown Healdsburg including up Matheson St. and Tucker St. where the historical homes are. Lake Sonoma is also a great place with some quick walks around the hatchery area or a longer walk on some of the trails. Just do not forget you mosquito repellent if you venture out to the rural areas! Enjoy!