By Andrea Papagianis
The Dana Point City Council officially adopted an ordinance permitting and regulating short-term vacation rentals in a 4-1 vote Tuesday night, with Councilman Carlos Olvera dissenting.
The vote, motioned by Councilwoman Lisa Bartlett, continued the second reading of the ordinance and the formal adoption, amidst low-boos from about 15 Beach Road homeowners and property managers who pleaded with the council to take more time to consider the rules.
“Our homes are safe and friendly,” said Chris Jones, owner of Capistrano Reality, which manages more than 40 homes along Beach Road.
“All we ask is to assist the city in proper language that helps us all achieve our mutual goals of safe homes, happy renters, happy owners and many happy years of TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) … we will all benefit from your patience.”
But after five years of working on the ordinance, city staff seemed anxious to move forward with the approval of regulations.
“From a selfish-staff standpoint, we’ve put a lot of time into this ordinance and have had multiple revisions over lots of years … it would be nice to have this part behind us,” said City Attorney Patrick Munoz.
Munoz highlighted with implementation of the ordinance set for January 2014 there would still an opportunity for city staff to work through issues and resident concerns.
City Manager Doug Chotkevys said city staff will meet with residents to address further concerns regarding a home inspection checklist. Chotkevys clarified the meeting would not lead to a complete reworking of the ordinance, but rather a redlined approach to the ordinance—in the form of amendments.
Amendments would be brought before the council for approval, and require a first and second reading. For now, amendments to the city’s health and safety ordinances, municipal and zoning codes are required.