The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to hear a request to revoke Dana Point’s vacation rental program, which the state agency had approved back in November 2022.
Dana Point residents Toni Nelson and Roger Malcolm requested the permit revocation hearing, set for Thursday, Aug. 10, alleging that the city provided misleading data for the commission to approve its short-term rental (STR) program.
In the permit revocation request, Nelson and Malcolm claim the city intentionally misrepresented the number of housing units, Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and housing units within HOAs in the Coastal Zone. They argue that the Coastal Commission may not have approved the coastal development permit regulating short-term rentals had it had an accurate count.
When the Coastal Commission found substantial issue with Dana Point’s then-proposed vacation rental program in September 2022, staff requested additional information on the number of HOAs in the coastal zone, their distribution within the area and how many housing units they contain.
The city stated that there were approximately 28 HOAs in the coastal zone, out of a citywide total of 78. Within the coastal zone, 15 HOAs containing roughly 2,648 units had covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that banned STRs, while10 HOAs containing roughly 639 units allowed STR use—based on a 2016 analysis.
According to a staff report, when asked for more recent data, the city responded that “it would be difficult to obtain more recent, accurate information within the Commission’s 49-working-day period prior to the hearing … since the City did not track which HOAs permit or do not permit STRs per their CC&Rs.”
On Nov. 10, prior to the hearing on the vacation rental program, the city submitted updated information to the commission showing 38 HOAs in the coastal zone with nine allowing STRs, 17 not allowing the vacation rentals and 12 that did not respond to the city, according to the report.
The city’s STR program established a cap of 115 non-primary, multi-family homestay, and mixed-use parcel non-primary short-term rentals within the coastal zone. There will be no cap on primary or homestay short-term rentals.
The city also stated it would not approve vacation rental programs in HOAs where the communities’ CC&Rs prohibit them. However, to implement a ban on STRs, HOAs may need to apply for a coastal development permit.
The city’s staff report for the consideration of granting CDPs for HOAs to ban vacation rentals stated that there were “approximately 52 HOAs in its Coastal Zone, containing 4,400 units.”
The city again revised the data at a mid-May City Council meeting, noting that there were 5,737 housing units in the coastal zone with 4,216 residing within the area’s 53 HOAs.
Since the program has been implemented, 17 HOAs have gone through the CDP process to enact a ban on vacation rentals, according to the commission’s staff report, with two more pending.
Nelson and Malcolm argue in their revocation request that the city misled the commission to believe that the number of STRs in the coastal zone would represent 2% of the total housing stock.
Instead, the two stated, “the actual results will be far outside those parameters (7 to 22%), burdening less than 1/3 of the Coastal Zone with concentrations that far exceed the Commission’s intentions.”
In its report ahead of the hearing, staff “concurs that the City clearly did provide the Commission with inaccurate information, as alleged in the revocation request.”
However, the staff report stated that the discrepancies “are a result of the City refining its information and data as it performed additional research and analysis, rather than an intentional effort to misrepresent information to the Commission.”
Additionally, staff noted that the commission would not have acted differently had it received accurate information, noting that the commission was aware that STRs would concentrate in non-HOA areas in the Coastal Zone.
To address potential impacts of the STR program, the city is required to return to the commission in 2025 and 2028 with an evaluation of the program.
Ultimately, staff recommended that the commission deny the revocation request.
The hearing to discuss the request for revocation will be held during Thursday, Aug. 10. The meeting will be held in Oxnard City Council Chambers. Those interested in watching the meeting online can visit coastal.ca.gov.
Those interested in submitting comments can fill a speaker request form on the commission’s website. The commission encourages anyone wishing to speak to submit a request by 5 p.m. the day prior to the hearing.