By Kristina Pritchett
After nearly two hours of discussion, the Dana Point City Council tabled a second reading of an ordinance that would allow short-term rentals in all zoning districts where residential uses are allowed.
This is the second time the Council has tabled the second reading so they could get more input from the residents.
On Tuesday night, Councilman Scott Schoeffel proposed the Council wait until a September meeting to discuss short-term rentals with the residents. The Council voted 4-1 in favor of tabling the ordinance with Mayor Pro Tem Richard Viczorek dissenting.
The Council introduced a first reading of the ordinance in December 2013, followed by a second reading January 2014 and authorizing the staff to submit the proposed Local Coastal Program Amendment to the California Coastal Commission for its approval and certification. Later that month it was submitted to the commission.
On March 20, 2015, after the commission requested additional information from the city, the commission deemed the LCP amendment complete. In April 2016, the commission conducted a hearing and approved the city’s LCPA with suggested modifications. The council introduced the first reading with the modifications at the May 17 meeting.
Part of the modifications include putting the city’s municipal code chapter 5.38, or the short-term rental permits, into the city’s local coastal program “so that any future amendments to the chapter 5.28 that limit or prohibit short-term rentals in the coastal zone be submitted to the coastal commission as a local coastal plan amendment.”
A couple of the Council members did not agree with this, stating that since it’s a new ordinance it may need to be adjusted. Councilman Richard Viczorek stated the way the ordinance was written, he would not be able to vote in favor of it.
“At first I was for it,” Viczorek said and added some benefits for the residents who are renting their homes would be able to bring in an extra income, the short-term renters in town would help the local businesses and it would increase the city revenue.
But, Viczorek said the negatives from the city’s residents started to change his mind.
“If we allow this, we’re opening the door to Coastal Commission, which is a state agency, to come in and tell us we can never get rid of this,” Viczorek said.
Staff advised the Council that the response would need to be back to the commission within six months, making the deadline Oct. 14. The ordinance will be discussed again during the council’s Sept. 20 meeting. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m.