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Cathedral City short-term vacation rental raided, 431 marijuana plants seized

Riverside County Cannabis Regulation Task Force obtained a search warrant to investigate a possible illegal marijuana grow operation at a home on Obergon Court in Cathedral City Thursday morning.

John Hall, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's office, confirmed that the Cannabis Regulation Task Force served a search warrant. No arrests were made but agents did seize 431 marijuana plants.

Cathedral City Code Compliance officers deemed the home uninhabitable, citing that the entire first floor had been converted to a cannabis cultivation center with a commercial generator.

"The house has been a STVR [short-term vacation rental] for a few years and police have been there because of the noise," said neighbor Antonio Baciu. "It's a party house."

Baciu noticed something suspicious when the property was having irrigation work done for a month.

He says Thursday morning he came home to nine police cars - most unmarked - in front of this short-term vacation home, which is across the street from his.

A group of Cathedral City residents say this is just an example of a much greater problem with short-term vacation rentals.

“This is all about safety in our neighborhoods. We have strangers in our neighborhoods on a regular basis," said Doug Evans, Secretary of Cathedral City residents Yes on B Committee.

“After leaving the big city and working for 40 years, I was hoping that I could live out the rest of my retirement in peace and tranquility, but that didn’t happen with the vacation rental behind me,” said Sandra Richter, a resident of Cathedral City for the past 20 years.

These residents shared their support for voting yes on Measure B in the upcoming special elections. This measure would apply restrictions to short-term rental properties.

People who don't support measure B cite the benefits of tourism and tax revenue from vacation rentals.

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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