CATHEDRAL CITY — With a packed chamber of both passionate proponents and opponents, the City Council on June 26 voted unanimously for an immediate moratorium on any new short-term vacation rental applications for at least 45 days.

Much of the debate centered on the impact of short-term vacation rentals on neighborhoods —and the city as a whole.

Opponents pointed out the excessive noise and nuisance coming from out-of-control guests at neighboring short-term vacation rentals.

Proponents maintained that the majority of short-term vacation rentals heed the rules and benefit the economy with jobs, structural and landscape improvements, and increased revenue for the city.

Between January and May 2019, the city received 36 noise-related calls from 22 rental properties. Six of those short-term vacation rental units account for two-thirds of the complaints.

Each side agreed that improved enforcement and issuing hefty fines are imperative to mitigating the negative effects.

After listening for more than an hour of testimony from the community, the City Council unanimously decided to amend the initial urgency moratorium to allow for all pending short-term vacation rental applications to be processed for approval.

Councilors deemed it the fairest way to approach the matter as it allows short-term vacation rental applications already in the pipeline to continue with their investments. Their decision also called a moratorium on any new short-term vacation rentals until the short-term vacation rentals Task Force has another opportunity to meet, discuss current policies, and determine any new rules and increased enforcement actions against those in violation of city ordinances.

The short-term vacation rental Task Force will meet in mid-July to review the current situation, look at solutions other cities have found, and propose new guidelines and enforcement solutions to the City Council.

The Task Force is comprised of city staff, short-term vacation rental homeowners, property managers, and neighbors of short-term vacation rental properties

Meantime, current short-term vacation rentals will continue to operate under current rules. The city will continue to process renewals of short-term vacation rental already in place.

Any property owner that operates an unregistered short-term vacation rental  violates the 45-day moratorium will face a fine of up to $5,000.

Image Sources

  • Moratorium: YouTube