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Voters in Cathedral City to decide city policy on short term vacation rentals

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Dave Deleon and his wife Alex say they've invested a significant amount of their retirement funds into their Cathedral City rental property and enjoy offering the place to visitors. 

"The house that you are in right now we've spent almost two hundred thousand dollars getting into this house.  That is a lot of cash.  I have to think about how to go forward if they shut us down," said Deleon. 

Ruth Grau says her rental property in the city was the only source of income for her family last year, because their businesses were closed in response to Covid-19.

"I think all responsible homeowners should be allowed to use their property in any way they see fit," said Grau. 

Both stand to lose income if Cathedral City voters on Tuesday approve Measure B. 

A "yes" vote would uphold a decision by the city council to phase out short-term rentals by 2023, except for those rentals in HOA's or properties where the owner lives in the home.

A "no" vote would allow property owners to return to renting out their places under the previous much less restrictive policy in place before the current ordinance was adopted by the council.

"Measure B is a quality of life issue.  Most of us moved in our houses hoping to live peacefully and quietly raising our kids," said Doug Evans.

Evans is with the "Yes on B" campaign and has lived on Risueno Road for 32 years. 

He and others complain about noise, parking problems and parties sometimes associated with rentals.

According to the Cathedral City Police Department, over a recent 14 month period, they received nearly 2,000 complaints and calls for service related to short-term vacation rentals.

Another longtime resident Teri Hargreaves says she's called the city "dozens and dozens" of times over the past two years regarding problems at the rental home behind her house. 

"There are times when the people behind me are fine but other times it's constant partying all day long," said Hargreaves.

For the special election Tuesday, a city's spokesperson said mail-in ballots must be postmarked by March 2 and received by March 5. 

Mail-in ballots can also be dropped off at polling places. 

Locations for polling places can be found at VoteInfo.net. 

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Tom Tucker

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