Shilpa Bhimani, Dana Point
I was a vocal supporter of Measure H, as were a wide majority of people who spoke in favor of short-term rentals (STR). This ordinance is not about big businesses taking over our city; it’s about the teacher who rents out her home in the summer in order to visit family in Michigan, or the veteran who rents the back part of his duplex to make ends meet. The grandparents who bought a vacation rental to be closer to grandkids, or the empty nesters who like to travel in the summer. I thought their stories were very moving, and I personally think it’s unfortunate that they have been mocked in other letters that have been written in.
I believe our City Council learned their lesson with Measure H and got behind a very popular local initiative, with regards to 5.38. Just as Measure H looked to preserve the key tenets of the Dana Point Town Center initiative, I believe passage of the STR initiative preserves a rental community that has been going on here harmoniously for over half a century. Tourism is the life blood of our city and STRs play a critical role, peacefully.
Code enforcement and the Sheriff both clearly stated there have been next to no issues. They would have no reason to lie. If there were supposedly 600 complaints on Beach Road, why does no one at the city have any record of it? Why was this not referenced by the Beach Road HOA? Others from Beach Road communicated that there are few issues there.
All of the STR issues that could occur in the future could easily be addressed by our City Council or by an HOA. Nothing prevents this. A no vote would have taken this back to the drawing board. This ordinance has been worked on for a decade; we had six months to discuss this as a city before the final vote. There was plenty of feedback, the wide majority supporting STRs. Kudos to our City Council for approving an excellent ordinance.
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