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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The City of Dana Point is seeking the public’s input to develop appropriate regulations for a Short-Term Rental (STR) Pilot Program that works in the best interest of both residents and visitors.

In 2018, the Dana Point City Council re-initiated its effort to establish an STR ordinance. Research of potential regulations and community surveys was conducted and, on July 21, 2020, the city council directed the Dana Point Planning Commission and city staff to continue to engage the public and develop a pilot program.

According to city officials, the goal of the pilot program is to establish regulations that maintain the character of Dana Point neighborhoods by discouraging absentee corporate STR ownership, protecting against nuisances, and balancing the rights and responsibilities of all residents and homeowners.

“The City recognizes that Dana Point’s world-class beaches and accommodations attract visitors from around the world and STRs provide a valuable service to those in need of short-term lodging,” a city statement read. “The increased popularity of STRs due to the growth of online platforms resulted in the need for additional regulations to ensure they are compatible in residential neighborhoods.”

According to a 2013 city survey, a majority of short-term vacation rentals are located along Beach Road and in Niguel Beach Terrace. Photo by Andrea Swayne

A new subcommittee was formed through the Planning Commission to obtain public input to guide development of new regulations for the existing permitted STRs and the STR Pilot Program. The public outreach program includes a social media information campaign, stakeholder engagement, public outreach events, public workshops, and public hearings.

The public outreach program will include review of potential amendments to the city’s Municipal Code (Section 5.38) regulating existing STRs. The focus of the amendments will be on increasing penalties and modifying regulations to address issues related to noise, parking, and trash. The subcommittee plans to discuss these regulations with stakeholders and the public.

Public workshops will be conducted this spring. According to the city, the first workshop will focus on strengthening STR regulations and is tentatively scheduled be held in conjunction with the Planning Commission meeting on February 22 at 6 p.m. in city council chambers.

If interested in participating or viewing the meetings, residents can request to be on the email list. Information to participate virtually will be made available prior to the meeting. The city will implement appropriate COVID-19 safety measures for all public outreach and engagement events.

To be added to the email list and receive information, email str@danapoint.org. Information on upcoming meetings will be posted on all city social media platforms and on the city’s STR website at bit.ly/danapointstr.

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