Neighbors thrown under council bus

April 23, 2017

 

Last Wednesday, the city council, at the request of councilmen Kors and Roberts, took another step to undermine the health and viability of Palm Springs neighborhoods.

 

For no apparent reason, other than to placate owners of very large short-term rental homes, they introduced an ordinance change which arbitrarily weakens (even more) the already-watered down new vacation ordinance. It passed unanimously 3-0 (Foat and Mills absent).

 

Prior to Wednesday, vacation rental homes on small lots (those under 15,000 sqft) regardless of number of bedrooms, were limited to 8 overnight adults.  This made sense, since large rental homes on small lots mean less of a buffer against noise, trash and other problems which may not be as acute in large rental homes (newly named “Estate Homes”) on larger lots.

 

That wasn’t good enough for our newest council members, who were following the not-so-best-practices of their predecessors, as they continued to pander to the STR industry.

 

After a few vacation rental business owners balked that they just couldn’t make ends meet if they only rented out four of their five-, six-, and seven-bedroom “hotels” located on small lots, the council ripped out this one remaining vestige of good zoning, good government and civic responsibility.  So now, if you live next to a large vacation rental business with more than four bedrooms, the protection you originally had against high-intensity rental usage next door to you is officially gone.

 

This result was never intended when the vacation rental subcommittee began to hold public meetings.  When the subcommittee drafted its first ordinance, it indicated that limiting ALL STRs to a maximum of eight overnight guests—regardless of lot size—was a reasonable restriction to prevent unlimited mega-STRs from operating in R1 zones.  We believed them.  They said then, as they still say, “Trust us.”

 

That was short lived. After pressure from the industry, including talk of a recall, the subcommittee eliminated the eight adult restriction for large “estate homes" STRs in neighborhoods with large lots.

 

And last Wednesday, the council did a “trust us” and voted to remove the eight adult restriction for STRs in areas zoned for small lots.

 

  • We’ll make sure they won’t bother the neighbors next door, “trust us.”

 

At the city council meeting, PON stated there is no good policy rationale for this change -- that it is actually laughable that anyone would believe that this change is even necessary.  Because it isn’t.  We also stated that the previous eight overnight guests limit was one of the few provisions left with teeth from the original ordinance.  Chalk up one more “trust us” as we homeowners and our neighborhoods are once again thrown under the city council bus.

 

PON believes neighborhoods are for residential use, not commercial use, and our zoning code supports that.  We appreciate your continued support, especially your financial help with our legal costs.  Please consider volunteering your time or donating today to help win this battle for the future of our neighborhoods.   We are stronger together.

 

Please help us today, as we fight to Protect Our Neighborhoods!

 

Your investment in your home, in your neighborhood and in your community is depending on it.

 

We appreciate your donation of $50, $100, $500 or more.* You can donate securely through PayPal, from our website.

 

Or mail a check today to:

 

Protect Our Neighborhoods

P.O. Box 4453

Palm Springs, CA  92263

 

Thank you,

Michael D. Ziskind / Co-Chairman

Board of Directors

Protect Our Neighborhoods

 

*We welcome your continued support. We do not share or make public your donation amount, name, email or address.

 

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Please visit us at our website for more information and statistics on vacation rentals in your neighborhood, order a yard sign, donate or to volunteer your time.

 

Protect Our Neighborhoods (PON) is a California Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of Palm Springs residents negatively affected by the explosion of short-term vacation rentals. It is staffed on volunteer basis by full-time Palm Springs residents. (CA Corp. #3940372)

 

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