A home being rented on VRBO in an unincorporated area of Solano County, near Rockville and Fairfield, was the target of some threatening graffiti earlier this month. But neighbors say the real story is that the absentee homeowner has continued having short-term rentals at the property despite being denied a permit to do so.
Two garage doors were tagged on a home in a cul de sac in the Green Valley Highlands neighborhood, early in the morning on October 9.
"This is your final warning. The tribe has spoken. Leave this place or else!" was the message on the first door. And the second reads, "You have no idea who lives on this mountain. Do not underestimate our people."
In addition to these messages, the tires were slashed on the cars of the renters at the property.
As ABC 7 reported, an image of the vandalism suspect was captured on a neighbor's surveillance camera, and it appeared to be a thin young man in a hoodie. No suspect has reportedly been arrested in the case.
One of the neighbors got surveillance video showing a suspect who may have been responsible for the vandalism.— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) October 18, 2021
This happened in the Green Valley area of Fairfield. pic.twitter.com/fBycxgr49S
It was a group from Kansas renting the home at the time, as ABC 10 reports, and they didn't know what to make of the bizarre threats. One of the renters, Alana Harrison, posted about the situation on Facebook and subsequently got a refund from VRBO.
"I was so freaked out," Harrison said. "This house in a cul-de-sac and we were like how did people even know? And of course at the time we didn’t know the situation, we thought someone was out to get us."
The "situation" is that in this quiet bedroom community, this one house has been consistently rented out to Wine Country tourists in recent months. And the sheriff has reportedly been called at least five times since April due to noise complaints.
As the Daily Republic reported in April, the owners of the home applied for a house-rental permit, but Solano County supervisors first deadlocked on its approval, and then rejected it, also instituting a moratorium on such permits until it can craft a better short-term rental policy.
Cliff Neal, a resident of the neighborhood where the rental house sits, tells KTVU, "We've got to get the county to enforce the rules they've set or there are no rules."
Apparently one issue is that the county lacks code enforcers.
"They pack this house with seven bedrooms and 10 beds, trying to make it a party house," Neal also told ABC 7. "And they were explicitly denied a permit."
Another neighbor, Bill Fell, told KTVU, "This isn't the type of neighborhood for [vacation rentals]. Most of the people who live here are over 70 years old and it's a nice quiet neighborhood, always has been."
The neighborhood sits near the junction of I-80 and Highway 12, and it's therefore a short drive to both the Napa and Sonoma valleys.
Neighbors complained at the county board of supervisors' meeting in the spring that the homeowners also have had complaints at other properties they own in Arizona.
Harrison, the renter who had her and her friends' tires slashed while on a wine-tasting vacation at the seven-bedroom home, told ABC 10 that she's upset with the homeowners most of all, and "clearly they don't care about people," she said.
"I think the homeowners are wrong," Harrison said. "Let’s keep renting no matter what, but VRBO should have policies in place. They weren’t even going to remove the listing."
According to KTVU, the $1,200/night home was rented again this week, and renters' vehicles were allegedly in the driveway — with the graffiti since having been painted over.