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Cathedral City leaders approve public vote over short-term vacation rentals

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The Cathedral City Council voted Wednesday evening to place a short-term vacation rentals initiative on the upcoming March public ballot. The measure would decide whether the businesses would be allowed to operate in the city's neighborhoods in the future.

City council members met virtually to discuss the future of the rental properties in the city and listened to more than two hours of public comment.

The Registrar of Voters estimates the special election cost to be between $75,000 and $85,000.

Short-term vacation rental property owners petitioned the city council to reconsider its ban on the properties and asked for the public vote.

The current ordinance limiting STVRs was a response to hundreds of Cathedral City resident complaints expressing concern with the safety and noise impacts of short-term vacation rentals in their neighborhoods. Numerous residents requested the city better address local public safety concerns.

The new ordinance phases STVRs out of neighborhoods zoned for residential use over a period of 27 months. STVRs may continue operating in home-sharing where the owner present and in communities with HOAs that choose to allow them.

A city report said that in feedback obtained by the City, "many residents feel that, too often, short-term vacation renters do not respect the local full-time residents who live nearby and make their residential neighborhoods less safe."

A statement from Cathedral City Residents Committee Against Referendum said the referendum is a waste of public funds. Instead, the resident group said it supports Ordinance #842 adopted by the council on October 9. The statement said the ordinance was widely supported by full-time residents and will be upheld in the March vote.

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Jeff Stahl

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