Measure B opponents lose by significant margin

CATHEDRAL CITY — Despite spending more than $270,000 to halt an ordinance that would phase out most short-term rentals in the city by 2023, Measure B opponents were trounced, according to final certified election results for the March 2 election released from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters,

The deadline to request a recount is March 23, 2021.

Yes on Measure B garnered 5,006 votes compared to the 2,940 votes Measure B opponents netted for a total of 7,946 votes for a 30% turnout. There are an estimated 26,184 registered voters in Cathedral City. Proponents have led in the vote tally since election day. The contest was never close.

The win for Measure B proponents upholds Ordinance 842, which includes a provision the Cathedral City council passed that would phase out most short-term rentals in the city by 2023. A “no” vote would have returned the city to a previous set of regulations on short-term rentals.

“The Cathedral City Residents YES on B Committee welcomes the certification of the results,” Doug Evans, secretary for the Committee said. “Our city can now move forward certain of the overwhelming support of residents for the city’s actions in phasing out Short-Term Vacation Rentals from our residential neighborhoods. We hope that the owners of affected houses will respect the decision of the city and of the voters and not try to further delay the implementation of this legislation. We encourage the city to fully implement the provisions as soon as possible.”

The City Council of Cathedral City passed Ordinance 842 in September 2020. The ordinance limits whole-house Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) to Home Owner Associations that approve of such businesses. It still permits home-sharing throughout the city. Following adoption of the ordinance, opponents launched a petition drive to place the ordinance on a special ballot.

“The NO campaign was funded by out-of-town speculators and the Airbnb Corporation,” Evans said.

He alleges that the National Association of Realtors supported the NO campaign using misleading mailers, apparently without filing appropriate FPPC reports. Their actions, Evans claims, are the subject of a complaint filed with the FPPC for alleged election law violations.

“The NO on B campaign attacked the Council as whole, individual council members and city staff, falsely claiming collusion, backdoor deals, and illegal spending,” Evans said. “But they were unable to provide any argument that supported their position. They even failed to file an argument in the official Voter Guide. This was a battle of David v Goliath proportions. But just as in the original story, David has triumphed in this unequal battle.”


Image Sources

  • Results: Shutterstock