The Palm Springs Neighbors For Neighborhoods group delivered a petition to city hall on Wednesday morning to limit short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.
The group gathered over 5,600 signatures, double the amount required to qualify it for an upcoming election. The petition now goes to Riverside County for signature verification.
The group believes the city has failed to protect the safety and quality of life of its residents by allowing the commercialization of its single-family neighborhoods.
Currently, the vacation rental ordinance has quadrupled increase in annual fees, from $234 to $900. Rental home owners are also restricted to renting their homes no more than 32 times per year, owning two rental homes at most, and abiding by new enforcement department regulations.
A “yes” vote on the ballot measure proposed by Palm Springs Neighbors For Neighborhoods, will limit absentee-owner rentals to a minimum of 28 days or more per stay in residential R1-zoned single-family neighborhoods.
Short-term rental owners will have two years to adjust their business model or relocate their vacation rental business to an area of the city zoned for mixed-use or commercial business.
“The proliferation of these de-facto motels is destroying our neighborhoods, block by block,” says Stephen Rose, the group’s spokesperson. “This initiative will give residents a voice in the future of their neighborhoods. We are all just one ‘FOR SALE’ sign away from having a full-time hotel next door to us.”
“The Palm Springs short-term rental rate is among the highest per-capita in the country,” according to Rose. That said, city data shows over 80% of short-term rental owners do not live in Palm Springs. They are not local residents just trying to make “ends meet” as online booking services would like us to think.”
“It is not the responsibility of neighborhoods to generate business tax revenue. Money isn’t everything. We all need somewhere safe and secure to call our home; that is what living in a neighborhood, with real neighbors, is all about,” said Rose.
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