Celebrating our new home in Eureka

We are super excited to share that we have a new home in Eureka! Our intention is to rent mainly to traveling medical professionals at the local hospital, Providence St. Joe’s, which is right down the road. But we are applying for a vacation rental permit so we can spend time here ourselves when our daughters are out of school.

Here's our letter to the Planning Commission as background:

Honorable Commissioners, City Staff and Neighbors,

Thanks for considering our vacation rental permit application. I’m Melanie Meharchand and my husband, Salven Pillay, and I are owner-managers of this home.

We understand the concerns of the neighbor whose response led to further discussion before moving forward with our permit. We are grateful for the chance to share our experience and commitment to being good landlords and neighbors.

We live in the Bay Area, Sausalito, and have two daughters (a senior in college and a senior in high school). We also have a dog, Beau, which is why our home is pet-friendly. Sal is over software development for a financial services company, but he studied aeronautical engineering and is extremely hands-on at our homes, whether it's making sure things are fully digitized and secured – like programmable door locks and remote-controlled security systems to keeping everything well maintained on a regular basis. I do social media for a global insurance company, and I’m hands on with guests.

Our intention is to spend time here, ourselves, in retirement. We have 3 other rentals: in Truckee we do mainly short-term rentals, in Pacific Grove we mainly host travel nurses, and in Toronto we have a long-term rental. In Sausalito, I’m the president of our home owners association, where I’ve served on the board for 5 years. In Truckee I served 6 years on the tourism board where short-term rental taxes support a million-dollar budget for promoting the Town of Truckee as an environmentally sustainable destination. You can see our work at VisitTruckee.com. But when we purchased our place here , I resigned my position on Truckee’s board so I could focus on Eureka.

So we are very experienced with property management and both short- and long-term rentals.

We’d also like to share that even if we get the license to rent short-term, our goal is to mainly host traveling medical professionals at Providence St. Joe’s for multi-month stays. The vacation rental permit will give us some flexibility to spend time in Eureka ourselves, when our daughters are home from school.

In addition to our local contact, we also have retained local attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson, who you would know as Eureka’s former City Attorney. We needed Cyndy’s services, unfortunately, because the very first 30-day renter we had here decided to stay beyond the term of his rental agreement without paying rent. Shockingly, this person, Mauro Janoski, had been a physician, but it seems he had been fired from his job and has been going from property to property doing this.

It was a very unfortunate break for us, but it gave us a chance to show our immediate neighbors how responsive we would be as landlords. Both Sal and I spent days here multiple times while working with our attorney and Eureka PD to try to get him into compliance. We also had our contractor take care of things around the property, like clearing the alleyway of trash he had piled up there, to help keep things tidy for neighbors.

In terms of any parking concerns, our house rules also direct our renters where to park to minimize the local footprint, although there is plenty of street parking in our neighborhood.

We hope this helps reassure the neighbor who requested this discussion that we are experienced and committed owners. We are very excited about Eureka and looking forward to being active in this community.

We’re happy to answer any questions. We thank you for your service on this commission. And we are very grateful for your consideration of our permit request.


And if you made it through all of that, here are more pics of our sweet little 1-bedroom cottage with studio, which we've done up Boho-style to match the awesome local vibe of the Eureka and Humboldt area!