It’s time for district voting in Rancho Mirage

The Rancho Mirage City Council recently decided to ban short term rentals (STR’s) in areas without a homeowners’ association. It doesn’t matter what side of the issue you may be on. What should concern you is how the City Council went about it.

With only 72 hour notification, the minimum required by law, the Council put STR’s on the October 21st agenda. With it, was a proposed 21-page ordinance (plus supporting documents)  that would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Clearly, the City had been contemplating this action for some time. It caught the 150+ affected STR owners totally by surprise. In spite of this, over a dozen people attended the meeting to oppose the ban. Only one person spoke in favor of it. After public comment, the Council did debate the issue but ultimately voted unanimously for the ban. Little, if any consideration was given to the impact on the STR owners.

This behavior is not unlike what has happened and continues with the City Council’s pursuit of the In-N-Out project in the Las Palmas Shopping Center on the corner of Magnesia Falls Drive and Highway 111. The City tries to conceal what its intentions are to avoid push back from the residents on controversial subjects. In the case of the In-N-Out project, the City even tried to conceal on its agenda the intention to move forward with the project earlier this year. This is now the subject of a second lawsuit filed by Save Rancho Mirage among other issues.

What I believe the residents want is transparency and to be heard. My experience is that solicited and unsolicited public comment on issues is asked for, but ignored.  The attitude appears to be that the Council knows best what is good for its residents – never mind that they live in gated communities away from STR’s and the potential In-N-Out location.

It’s time for district voting in Rancho Mirage so that residents will have representation from their area and be heard. It’s also time for term limits. Some members of the City Council have been in place going on 20 years. When there have been vacancies, they have appointed hand-picked replacements in an attempt to have like-minded people. Virtually every decision the Council makes is unanimous. We need open discussion and fair representation.


Image Sources

  • Rancho Mirage: Shutterstock