The City of St. Helena, by unanimous vote of the City Council, has reached a legal settlement with Pacaso, Inc. The resolution concludes the litigation filed against the City by Pacaso in April 2021 challenging the City’s authority to enforce its timeshare ordinance against Pacaso’s operation of co-owned homes in the City. The settlement ensures that under our current timeshare ordinance Pacaso cannot expand its operations in the City beyond Pacaso’s existing four homes. Moreover, the City will continue to enforce its timeshare ordinance to preserve the character of the City’s residential neighborhoods.
The settlement agreement provides that neither Pacaso nor any parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of Pacaso will market, sell, or use any single-family home that is or is intended to be fractionally owned in the City with the exception of the four existing Pacaso homes, which will be considered legal nonconforming uses under the City’s Zoning Code.
“This agreement, along with our updated timeshare ordinance, demonstrates our commitment to preserving the character of our vibrant and unique neighborhoods,” said Mayor Paul Dohring. “The City Council believes this settlement agreement reflects a good compromise that protects the City from the further expansion of timeshares in its residential areas, while limiting the ongoing cost, risk, and uncertainty associated with protracted litigation.”
The City maintains an open-door policy with all businesses operating in the City, and in the spirit of that policy the settlement agreement allows Pacaso to initiate conversations with the City over the next 18 months to discuss its operations within the City, the allowable number of Pacaso homes in the City, and potential revenue streams relating to its operations in the City. It is important to note that any conversations with Pacaso that involve the City Council as a whole would only occur at a noticed public meeting in conformance with the Brown Act, and the public would have the opportunity to comment on those discussions as part of that meeting. Additionally, any attempted expansion of operations by Pacaso in the City would require an amendment of the City’s timeshare ordinance, requiring noticed public hearings before both the Planning Commission and City Council. No action could be taken that would allow Pacaso to sell or market new timeshares in the City without City Council action, following extensive public input.
City Manager Anil Comelo expressed satisfaction with the settlement, stating, “We are pleased to have reached a resolution with Pacaso that protects against the expansion of timeshare uses in our residential neighborhoods. The City of St. Helena is committed to the well-being of our residents and intends to vigorously enforce our timeshare ordinance and other rules enacted by our Council to preserve the unique small-town character of our City.”
Read the full Pacaso Settlement Agreement (PDF).