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DP logoToni Nelson, Dana Point

There they go again. This time, instead of creating a competing ballot measure to block Measure H, Dana Point City Council disenfranchised voters entirely, approving Ordinance 5.38 to allow vacation rentals as short as two days anywhere in Dana Point. Worse, they ceded authority to the California Coastal Commission for approval of any future amendments affecting proliferation.

In a last minute move, after residents voiced concerns at the August 16 meeting, Council moved the meeting to Sept. 6 (the day after Labor Day) instead of Sept. 20, as previously posted. Opponents learned, too late, that the city sent email notices to all STR permit holders on August 17 to advise them of the meeting change and suggest they write letters and attend the meeting. No such personal notice was sent to known opponents.

Ignoring impassioned pleas from citizens wanting to preserve the quiet enjoyment of their homes, Council bowed to four hours of rosy portrayals of short-term vacation rentals (STRs) by owners, their customers, agents and even their kids. Councilmen Schoeffel and Olvera, who leave Council in November, and Mayor Tomlinson of severely impacted Capistrano Beach, voted to favor special interests (including non-resident investors) representing less than 1 percent of property owners.

Unless you have an HOA or CC&Rs prohibiting STRs, your formerly residential neighborhood is now open to revolving vacation rentals as short as two days. There are no restrictions on the number of businesses on a given street, no buffers between them, and no protections for long term renters. While proponents cited an unbelievable “five nuisance reports in five years”, one resident from Beach Road told of 600 documented calls to security in one year, for 40 rentals. Police admitted that data on nuisance calls is not tracked separately for STR properties.

Time will tell whether investors will crowd to Dana Point, now the only local coastal town that has allowed unrestricted STRs. One sure thing is that the Coastal Commission is thrilled with Dana Point’s “model ordinance.” They should be. Council put them in charge.

To submit a letter to the editor, email editorial@danapointtimes.com.

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (38)

  • Hi Toni;
    What you fail to mention is that this ordinance had been in the works for nearly 9 years, it’s been in practice in Dana Point since April 2, 2013 with only 5 complaints, and that the same council members that were against measure H were the votes against this ordinance.

    Moreover, our city manager recommended approval and our most experienced councilmen who is an attorney and has been working on this and was a proponent of measure H voted in favor of the ordinance.

    Moreover, circa 50 residents spoke in favor while circa 25 spoke against. I encourage our community to get the facts read the meeting agenda, and watch the meeting. The ordinance is essentially the same one we’ve had since April 2, 2013. While those that spoke against is spoke a lot about sober living homes, which the city categorically stated and repeated are not the same issues and should not be contained in the same ordinance.

    https://www.danapoint.org/Home/ShowDocument/19277

    Keep Dana Point Friendly,

    Great job city council.

    Shevy

    • Whoa there, Shevy! Put down the kool aid and listen up. Public meetings took place in 2007 – nine years ago by my math – and long before the explosion of VRBO and similar sites. This industry is exploding, and what was just a small issue 9 years ago has the potential to change our town in ways no one’s going to like.

      As far as the 5 complaints in 3 years, I think Council may be sipping your kool aid too. Why didn’t anyone on that dais have the intellectual curiosity to question why Beach Road, with only 40 rental units, managed to record 600 complaints in 1 year? Either they have an extremely rowdy crowd on the beach, or something’s wrong with CE’s stats. Why too, didn’t any of those bright spots question the Chief of Police when he clearly said he doesn’t track nuisance complaints for STRs separately? They have the records. Why not at least run those addresses against complaints and get us some real numbers?

      And why, oh why didn’t anyone have the sense to get to the bottom of what’s happening at Niguel Beach Terrace? Neighbors say that even though they have an HOA disallowing STRs, they have 70 units that are operating flagrantly and illegally. And yes, the City knows, code enforcement knows, and nothing is being done.

      Here are the REAL facts, Shevy — this ordinance has no teeth. It’s not enforceable. It doesn’t even audit TOT to keep the hotels honest. It hasn’t and can’t shut down illegal STRs, and there is NO way that’s an accurate count on nuisances. And worse, when things get crazy, Council can wash it’s hands and blame the Coastal Commission.

      You admit that HOAs should be able to prohibit these things. Why do you think almost 100% of them do exactly that? Earth to Shevy: because regular folks don’t WANT the revolving door of a hotel next door to where they’re raising their kids..

      As far as the connection to sober living homes — here’s the real scoop: Just as residential homeowners don’t appreciate big businesses in the recovery industry opening up multiple lucrative homes of dubious worth to the poor suffering addicts and institutionalizing our neighborhoods, homeowners also don’t appreciate big businesses in the STR industry opening up multiple STRs and commercializing our neighborhoods either. How many people in your little group own multiple units? How many are not even Dana Point residents? One guy admitted to 9. I know of another lady who owns 15. This is what Council has really done– sold us out to special interests — again.

      • Ted, I’m not sure if you are aware of it, but 3 individuals who are currently on the Board of Niguel Beach Terrace spoke at the city council meeting, and their speeches are in direct conflict with your assertion that there are 70 STRs operating there. I can tell you that Ted Harris was extremely effective in stopping illegal STRs there. In one situation where a person was trying to operate an STR, the individual was fined steeply and was also exposed to court action. He quickly stopped operations.

        At Beach Road, you make a claim that ther were 600 complaint calls into security, but you provide no substantiated proof to back up this claim. There were many owners on Beach Road who spoke at the City Council, both STR owners and Not, who completely refute this claim. Furthermore, if it was truly a nuisance why has their HOA done nothing to remedy the issue? Why were the police never called? Why weren’t more people in attendance speaking against them at the City Council Meetings?

        What incentive did both the Orange County’s Sherif’s Department and Code Enforcement have to lie? If you watch the video from the City Council meeting both were very clear that there have simply been very few issues regarding STRs.

        You claim that STRs aren’t wanted by our residents. Fact is the vast majority of letters to the city council, speeches at City Council meetings, letters to the papers, etc… have been in support. A poll in the OC Register a few years back also backs this up. This has been a topic our city has been working on for a decade and there has been plenty of time to get feedback, research the topic and ensure all the right questions were asked. We have a great ordinance that provides our City and our HOAs with great mechanisms to prohibit and control STRs. If there are truly people having issues with STRs, we need to educate people to contact Code Enforcement, and we as a community should come together to deal with bad actors, instead of getting rid of an ordinance we have worked hard to put in place as a community for ten years.

        There were over 50 speakers at the City Council meeting, and probably another 50 letters written into the City Council. These weren’t letters from developers, it was from the veteran renting out the back of his duplex, the teacher who rents her home in the summer, the grandparents who bought a STR to be closer to grandkids. On the other hand, in the OC Register there were comments from the Marriott stating that STRs compete with them. So its much more likely that large Hotel Lobbyists are behind this referendum.

        • Hi Betty;
          The ordinance was created and enacted April 2, 2013 to protect all peoples rights. The city voted yes because the arguments against are not routed in fact. Your group has stated publicly and on social media that your real target is sober living homes which the city repeated over and over again is not part of this ordinance and does not belong in this ordinance. Though I understand your goal to follow San Clemente, as a resident of Dana Point I do not want to see my tax dollars wasted on the law suits that they are fighting. Nor do I want to see us go the route of the $10,000,000 losing battle the city of Newport Beach fought.

          You are stating opinion as fact that directly contradicts what our city manager and the agenda for the meeting stated when you write, “Finally, the California Coastal Commission Amendment was added recently and is a major change”. Our City manager and staff are paid to review and know much more than you or I do about this issue. I will post the video that covers this very soon on our YouTube Channel, “Keep Dana Point Friendly”

          I had a similar debate on Nextdoor and the value differences between our position and members of your group,

          Here’s a summary of the conclusion

          Shevy Akason from Sea Canyon · 5d ago

          I think I’m satisfied on our core value differences.

          1) I believe that unless all peoples property rights are protected there is no point in having property rights, I guess we’ve settled the fundamental difference in position.

          2) I also don’t believe that if people living on our city that want to retain their right to contract should have to leave the city to retain that right. That’s another fundamental difference.

          3) While I believe that HOA’s should have the right to choose and that people should have the right to choose to live in our city in HOA’s or not in HOA’s.

          4) I don’t believe that people not living in HOA’s should be subject to HOA style communistic and socialistic policy.

          HOA’s should be allowed to decide if they want short term rentals or not. Councilman Schoeffel is an attorney worked on this ordinance for nearly 9 years, he’s also an attorney. The Coastal Commission has control of our coastal Zone and will continue to have control no matter what we do in regards to this ordinance. A the meeting the city staff explicitly state that they do not have control outside of the coastal zone.

          I have left two messages for your husband with no return call. Your real target is sober living homes, documentation of this fact is all over social media. This has nothing to do with sober living homes. Short term vacation rentals have existed in our city for over 50 years, I have one home here and I’m raising four kids, I agree, sober living homes that are not run properly are a problem. But the answer is not throwing vacation homes under the bus to try to back door them.

  • HI Shevy,
    I was there and don’t recall anyone bringing up Sober living homes with exception of Olivera? The people for and against I felt both wanted the same thing, which was regulation’s and enforcement.
    There were some very nice ladies I sat next to in the t-shirts that told me they to we’re for regulation as well . Seems like there would be a way to sit down and hammer out a solution, oh well….
    I love Fort Lauderdale for spring break, well I did at one time. Until they put a cap of STR, teasing too old for those shanangans! looks like we may be the new spring break destination! Should be some steep competion for those of you in the business! Looks like some heavy hitter’s in the business coming this way! Expect those prices to have to come way down to keep up with the big boy’s of the business!
    In regards to SLH wasn’t it Tomlinson that said in a interview, regarding Sober living homes he wanted to look into ordinances? No one is against either STR/SLH . I have not met one person yet on either side, against it. They just all wanted regulation’s in place to protect the patients in the SLH and put a cap on the amount of STR. I really don’t think you’ll need the cap now that large groups are buying up the homes for STR, they will run the Ma and Pa’s right out of business. Maybe that was the plan all along?

    • Thanks for the message Mary. I agree, I think we all want to Keep Dana Point Friendly and have the correct regulation and enforcement. I think given this ordinance has been a 9 year process and it’s been in practice since April 2, 2013 and there have only been 5 complaints the facts speak for themselves.

      Moreover, personally reached out to both Allen Bell and Buck Hill whom I’ve been told are leading a group against the ordinance, they have not responded. I think a reasonable cap on short term rentals is something everyone could agree to if both sides can come together, we are ready and willing. .

      In addition, vacation rentals have existed in Dana Point for over 50 years with no cap and they have not been an issue. Part of what I love about Dana Point is how it’s laid out and it’s wonderful topography, which also does not lend itself to spring break type communities like the Peninsula in Newport or Pacific Beach in San Diego. Please feel free to let anyone know who thinks that they have ideas to strengthen the ordinance to contact me. I only own one home here where I’m raising my family. I just want to preserve property rights and Keep Dana Point Friendly! =) I think you do too.

      With that said, I don’t doubt that some people have trouble with their neighbors, long term, short term, etc, What’s great about this ordinance is that while there were an estimated 300 vacation rentals in Dana Point prior to the ordinance, since the ordinance has passed April 2, 2013 it’s given HOA’s an enforcement mechanism within the city to get rid of short term rentals in areas that do not allow them.

      I know it’s tough because it was a long meeting but if you get a chance to read through the minutes or watch the meeting, it was brought up a number of times. So much that one of the last questions Schoeffel asked the city attorney was to clarify that this had nothing to do with sober living homes. Moreover, if you contact me direct I’d be happy to show you quotes on social media from the leadership of the group against short term rentals discussing their “real target”.

      There were also messages on social media sites like next door trying to make sure no one communicated directly that “the real target is sober living homes”

    • Toni–
      You told me yourself that your not concerned about people in HOA’s because you don’t live in one when we met after the first meeting about this issue, you assured me ordinance 5:28 would fail and looked at Miriam and her husband who told you they wouldn’t be able to afford their home and said sorry, it’s going to fail. You asked what happens for people like you that don’t have HOA’s. If it’s an issue in your neighborhood form an HOA if that’s what your neighborhood wants.

      I’m asking you, form an HOA and leave a few neighborhoods in Dana Point that don’t have HOA’s for people that don’t want their property rights taken.

      Your real target is sober living homes. These are two completely separate issues.

      This ordinance has decreased the number of short term rentals and gives the city a mechanism to enforce regulation while not stripping people of property rights.

      In your own words
      ________________________________________________________________________________

      Toni Nelson from Capo Beach · 15 Mar
      Take a look at Dana Point’s municipal code for Short Term rentals. It’s very strict and does not allow parking issues or parties. Ask your city to enact something similar and get this regulated. Go to danapoint.org and search “vacation rentals municipal code”. That should bring it up.

      Thank
      Gail thanked Toni
      _________________________________________________________________________________

      Dana Crest/The Landing • posted August 29th, 2016

      Hi Shelley, Thanks so much for announcing how important the Sept. 6th Council meeting is to rid our city of short-term rentals. I do want to caution you and anyone sending correspondence or speaking on the issue to not outright define sober living homes as our may concern. Patients in these homes are a “protected class” and courts tend to throw out any legislation that is specific in naming them as the main focus of the complaint (just ask Newport Beach whose ordinance was set aside by the courts at a cost of approx.$10,000,000 in penalties and attorney fees). We can refer to them as boarding houses, transitory living arrangements but should be mentioned in combination with all short-term rentals such as vacation rentals. �Our first step in defeating this ordinance is to get businesses out of residential neighborhoods. From there we can continue to work on those who continue to remain illegally and cause problems to our neighborhoods. �If you wish to help pass out a petition to present to council please respond to this message.�Hope to see you on the 6th and those supporting our cause please wear white because the chamber will be filled by those owning Short Term Rentals and we want council to know who we are!
      Thank
      Julie and Melody thanked Barbara
      Julie and Melody both thanked Barbara for sharing this message

  • Toni,

    I was a vocal supporter of Measure H, as were a the wide majority of people who attended the meeting on Tuesday and who wrote letters in favor of the STR ordinance. This ordinance is not about big business taking over our city, its about the teacher who rents out her home in the summer to visit family in Michigan, or the veteran who rents the back part of his duplex to make ends meet. The grandparents who bought an STR to be closer to grandkids. I thought their stories were very moving and I personally think its offensive that you mock them. Shame on you.

    Personally 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 an act 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 their have been next to no issues. If there were supposedly 600 complaints on Beach Road, why does no one at the city have any record of it.

    You claim that it was underhanded moving the vote date up, but what you don’t mention is the two people who voted against STRs, Muller and Vicorek, are the ones who requested the date be moved.

    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 was been worked on for a decade, we had 6-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 putting an excellent ordinance in place. I hope, as was stated in the OC Register Editorial section earlier this week, we will become a model for other cities to follow.

    • Shilpa,

      Its interesting, I hadn’t ever considered operating a short term rental, but after watching some of the speeches online I may end up doing it next summer. Sounds like a great way to make a little extra money. I’m also glad that our city isn’t in another super expensive lawsuit with the Coastal Commission. Last I had checked, they lost the last 4 cases against them.

      I find it very interesting that the number of STRs has actually dropped since they put the ordinance in place. I’m assuming it takes a lot for time to manage these things, which might explain the drop.

      Really glad that Measure H and the STR Ordinance passed, really feels like there are some good things happening in Dana Point these days. I can’t remember the last time the OC Register complimented our City Council. Seems like they created a really good ordinance.

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but this ordinance IS about “big business taking over our city”. Please tell me — what in that ordinance prevents non-resident owners, businesses, and even Real Estate Investment Trusts — from investing big time in Dana Point – now pretty much the ONLY coastal CA city with the doors wide open for investment? Do you really think the Council that brought you Strandsgate and Measure I are smarter than all those Councils in all those coastal cities who were smart enough to protect homeowners and restrict or ban STRs?

      If you think you’re protecting your Mom and Pop resident-run STRs (which very few have ANY problem with, by the way), you’d better think again. Please don’t be naive. Some STRs may be owned by sweet grandparents and beleaguered homeowners trying to make ends meet, but don’t be fooled. They’re also owned by business interests – plenty of them — and you should brace yourself for a lot of competition.

      You’re right – this ordinance IS very popular — with locals who own STRs themselves — a handful of the 34,000 people who live in Dana Point and most who have been asleep on this issue. You’ve awakened a sleeping giant, and instead of working out a reasonable compromise that could have protected resident STR owners, now residents have no choice but to repeal this mess before Council cedes control of our residential areas to the Coastal Commission.

      The City has no records of the complaints on Beach Road because they are handled by their 24-hour security force — something none of the rest of us have in place, but sure wish we did. Do you really think the group of STR owners tipped off by their friend in Code Enforcement really represent the majority of Dana Point residents? Most of us moved to our neighborhoods to raise our families. — not to be next to a small hotel just because our neighbors think its ok to run a business next door. Ask a real estate agent how hard it is to sell a house when there’s an STR next door (or God forbid, on both sides, because your favorite ordinance doesn’t stop that either). Realtors refer to them as a “nuisance” and you have to disclose that there’s a vacation rental near by. Why do you think HOAs go out of their way to ban these things? Because no one wants them in their neighborhoods!

      And as far as Muller and Viczorek, don’t be fooled again. Those two guys joined Tomlinson in creating the deceptive and confusing Measure I. They’re the two most likely to try to keep their seats in 2018. Don’t you think they might be smart enough to pretend to support the vast majority of residents by voting No, safe in the knowledge that this mess would pass anyways since the other 3 made their views known months earlier? Neither one said one word supporting residents’ interests, and Viczorek was so concerned that he moved the date for this very important subject to the day after Labor Day – a date when he knew he’d have to participate remotely. Smells pretty fishy to a lot of people who’ve been burned by this Council before.

      • Were you at the meeting last Tuesday, did you read any of the letters that were sent in? There were about 100 people who spoke in favor of STRs, these were almost entirely “Mom and Pop” resident-run STRs. If you understand the mechanics of operating an STR, you would understand they are labor intensive and time consuming. Something that would be a big turn off to “Big Business.” Furthermore, considering that permits are not guaranteed and can be taken away, this adds risk into the equation, another big turn off for big business. There is a reason why this ordinance has been in place for 3-years and the number of SRs has been cut in half.

        I’m not sure if you realize this, but this ordinance has been in the works for a decade. It is in fact a compromise that was created after a great deal of community feedback. I personally attended meetings in which hundreds of residents spoke and wrote in letters. Our city council also spoke with HOA leaders, spoke with leaders in other cities, with the coastal commission and with our legal staff.

        Regarding Beach Road, your trying to tell me residents called security hundreds of times, but never called the police, even once? That’s makes no sense. I know if I was having an issue, I would call both. That is the logical thing to do. Furthermore, you do realize that the city contacted all of HOAs to get information regarding issues before putting the ordinance in place. They were told by HOAs that they rarely receive complaints. At last Tuesday’s meeting, HOA board member at Niguel Beach Terrace indicated they had received exactly 1 complain since the summer of 2015.

        Interestingly if you compare Niguel Beach Terrace (where STRs are prohibited) and Corniche (where they are allwowed), Corniche has seen a much higher appreciation rate then Niguel Beach Terrace. So the idea that they impact home values is simply not true, or at least unproven.

        Finally, regarding our City Council, they were elected by our community…they weren’t appointed. If you have an issue with them, then work to get others elected. In the meantime they were elected to lead, and we should let them to do their jobs.

  • HI Shevy,
    Im sure there are alway’s going to be people we agree with or disagree with on either side. My point is that regardless we all love Dana Point and want the best for our neighbors and the vistor’s alike. Things are changing and Co’s like Uber and VRBO have gotten the attention of the big guy’s. So know the competetion for the Ma and Pa’s are going to be steep! Up against large groups who are able to buy huge portfolios of Real Estate. They can cater to the high end boutique client to the family traviling on a budget, you must know this, your in the business. Prices from 10,000. a night to 80.00. They have them stocked to perfection, descorated by professionals and services at your finger tips. The flood gates wide open. I think everyone could have hammered this out and agreed on something. Looked to me like a puppet master and his puppet’s!

  • Hi All,

    I think everyone would agree that any Ordinance should respect the rights of all people.. I believe a compromise would have been possible to address the concerns of parties on both sides of the short term rental issue I feel compassion for people who need extra money to live, but I also feel sorry for those whose lives and neighborhoods have been negatively impacted.

    Everyone would probably agree that times have changed since 2007 when this Ordinance was conceived. Recent events have caused all our neighboring cities to limit or prohibit short term rentals due to the proliferation of them throughout Orange County. Shouldn’t that send up a red flag of warning? However, there are no provisions whatsoever in our Ordinance to deal with that happening in Dana Point. Outside investors and corporations will have a huge affect as well, particularly since we. are the only coastal city that is allowing them.

    Finally, the California Coastal Commission Amendment was added recently and is a major change. Not only does it concede the City’s authority over short term rentals, but it divides the City with neighborhoods with HOA’s being exempted from having to apply the Ordinance even within the Coastal Zone.. Even Councilman Viczorek, who is a lawyer and studied the issue, vehemently opposed this Ordinance because of the Amendment and urged that the Ordinance be unanimously rejected by the Council.

    I believe that it was the responsibility of the City Council to take the time to at least attempt to iron out the differences and prevent divisions in our community. After all, Isn’t that the motto: Let’s Keep Dana Point Friendly?.

    Betty Hill.

    • Jason Colaco, Dana Point Reply

      Betty,

      As you know this ordinance has been in the works for decades, and came about after extensive community outreach. I personally attended many of these working sessions. Besides reaching out to the community for feedback, they also reached out to HOA leaders to get feedback from them. Our city leaders also spoke with leaders from other towns. All of this interaction resulted in the ordinance that passed 3-years ago. Using stats provide directly by code enforcement, sheriffs and HOA leaders, clearly there have been few if any issues since it was enacted. Our city council tabled the second reading two different times over six months to get community feedback. The vast majority of feedback was in favor; this is a proven fact since all communications to the city are publically available.

      Regarding other cities probhiting STRs, what you actually find is that these cities are seeing an explosion of STRs and lack a funding source to police them. Its an utter mess. As our City Manager stated last Tuesday, since our ordinance passed 3-years ago the number of STRs in the city has been cut in half, we now generate $400K/year in tax revenue and raised enough capital to hire an ex sherrif deputy to head up code enforcement. I truly believe other cities can and will learn from us here.

      Operating an STR is a lot of work and time consuming, something that large corporations would be turned off by. Furthermore, considering that permits are not guaranteed adds risk into the equation, something corporations would not like. Airbnb has stated that more then 80% of those who rent out STRs, rent out their primary residence. There are simply no facts available to substantiate that big business are taking over.

      Regarding the Coastal Commission, they have approved an ordinance that allows us to control our own destiny. Most homes in the coastal zone are in HOAs, and can prohibit them if they’d like. I believe there are literally 2-streets not in HOAs. Homes outside the coastal zone, which represents 2/3 of our city, are not in the CCC’s per view and as such, our City Council is free to implement new rules regarding STRs without having to involve them. The coastal commission made significant concessions in approving this ordinance and it would have been a huge mistake to walk away at this point.

  • Well said Betty and Toni,

    I know that NAR is currently looking to add STR to the disclosure form, so this is not such a good thing, for a home owner right nest to one, right Shevey? Why are other cities putting ordinance’s in place? Fore thought, nah? I actually think this will wipe out Ma and Pa’s onsies and twosies, wait a minute here… are some of you in the business of Property Mang or something? Am I totally missing the boat here? Was that the plan all along?

    • Hi Mary;
      Great questions!

      Question 1; I met a gentleman at the meeting that said his home fell out of escrow because the buyer caught wind of your movement against vacation homes in the city. He said that no matter which way the vote went the attitude he read about in the city made him no longer want to own or live her. The seller is looking into legal action he can take for the damages that this has caused him. I know that policies that restrict or encumber a property owners right to contract have a direct negative impact on the value.

      Question 2; Why are other cities putting ordinance’s in place?

      First, I would recommend we focus on one of the many cities that have passed laws to protect property rights rather than the ones that have focused in taking them away. However, if you want to focus on those, see below.

      It depends on the city;

      Anaheim- Because large hotel interests have a lot of control in Anaheim and thus convinced city council that taking away property rights is in their best interest.

      San Clemente- They saw it as a good way to back door sober living homes. It’s not working and they are now engulfed in a costly lawsuit

      Newport Beach- They lost a $10mm lawsuit

      Dana Point is better and smarter than this.

      You are missing some pieces to the puzzle, however, I will do my best to make sure you don’t miss the boat.

      Question 3; ” I actually think this will wipe out Ma and Pa’s onsies and twosies,”

      yes, In areas that there are HOA’s that are against short term rentals, this will help the city to regulate and eliminate them.

      In other areas, this will help protect all of the people you saw get up and speak at the council meeting.

      Regarding your implication that this will somehow hurt may and pa’s.

      Why did so many “ma and pa’s” get up and speak in favor? The notion that you guys need to protect those of us that don’t live in HOA’s or run “ma and pa” short term rentals is not welcome. Please leave those of us that don’t live in HOA’s alone, don’t try to tell us who can stay in our homes, when they can stay there, or for how long from across the city. If you don’t have an HOA or CC&R’s and you don’t want short term rentals form one.

      Furthermore, if you have an HOA and CC&R’s make sure your read the letter from the Coastal Commission to Mandalay Shores Community Association so you know what the group against short term rentals is trying to get you into.

      Given this has been in place for circa 3 years why haven’t we seen a growth of short term rentals to push out “ma and pa’s” as you insinuate? I’m sorry, your insinuation that there’s some kind of master plan by corporate America in Dana Point to own vacation rentals and strong arm out ma and pa’s is way off.

      I don’t have a management company.

  • Thank you for answering my question’s. Here’s just one more.
    So let’s say you have just a few STR and now there are several more about to open on your street, but these new guy’s do this full time and have professional staff, property mang team. I guess your competitors, right? BTW… I’ve heard that DP has quite a few pending R2’s at this time. So these groups’s, investors, big boy’s whatever you want to call them, surely not neighbors, I had the pleasure of meeting one right after he purchased a neighboring house. I went to introduce myself and welcome him to the neighborhood. When I asked when he’d be moving in, he chucked (not kidding) and said he’d wouldn’t live in this area, he explained he lived in Laguna Beach, ouch! So for this guy, thats see’s our neighborhood as beneath him and strictly business such opportunistic type of guy, I think he and would ever see eye to eye. BTW… prince charming owns his own property Mang Co, it’s a guess here, this guy owns 10-15 , because when I asked him how many he owned he spouted of that number. But he seemed like the type of guy that might be a tad on the boastful side. So not a Ma and Pa but not quite Investment group either. Oh I have a great name for him, I’ll refrain. The other groups IM talking about, they purchase them and this is a new trend as well, then they fix them up, not just fresh paint. I mean high end appliances, solid wood flooring, electric window treatments, sound systems, we all dream of. Then they fill them with all restoration hardware furnishings, this would be for the low to mid range, luxurious mattresses, high thread count sheet’s, Egyptian cotton towels. The Kitchen’s are stocked for a professional chef. I’d bet they get good deals on all this stuff being they purchase in bulk. Neighbor’s nope, this is competition, right? So having large portfolios wouldn’t they be able to give the same rate’s you’re charging or less? Isn’t that what healthy competition is? Just do it a little better than the other guy at the same price or less? Another guess here but have any of you had shopper’s people who want to view the property before renting? And they don’t rent? This is strictly business for them. Im not able to put these companies names up here for you, read NAR re STR you’ll have some interesting articles, as well as some names. I know what the past reputation has been for DP, does the lantern district resemble the past? Kind of but shiny, much better, really some pretty fantastic night life, dining that’s incredible. I used to always see RE agents write up homes for sale in Dana Point and they’d say “Close to Newport Beach.” I think to myself what an insult, this is where you want to be! I actually believe we are about to see Newport Agents start to say “Close to Dana Point”. Maybe sweet DP is becoming the “it spot” and we have many of you to thank for that. Im sure many people stay in your comfortable homes and they talk it up when they return to their homes and their friends and family then come to visit or purchase. But with these homes in the area that are well into the millions, Im not talking one’s and twosies, I mean 5-10 million. When they are having wedding’s, reunions etc and entire families and friends need full home accommodations, who will they call? Im trying to point you to the future, there are so many of these high end homes now and new to the area. This is an area wide open for business for all levels. Do you want a little more regulation? Some type of cap? I agree with you on so many point’s, the freedom to do what you want in your home and to entertain who you’d like in your home. I think sharing your homes to travelers, well I think it’s trending not like the old beach rental from by gone era, But with internet, all these VRBO”S type sites and hipsters loving the idea on both sides, well I I think has made it very lucrative. Which has caught the eye of those businesses that look for everything we have from the lack of ordinances, to the sizes of our homes to the price per sq ft. Then put in all of our city improvements, natural beauty and beaches list goes on. Im just saying do you want to see more neighbors and less businesses in our neighborhood’s?

    • Hi Mary;
      First, the city can do whatever it wants outside of the coastal zone. Unfortunately within the coastal zone the city will be subject to the coastal act.

      I need your help. What’s the goal of trying to repeal an ordinance that’s been working for circa 3 years and allows any community with an HOA or CC&R’s to eliminate short term rentals?

      Right now, the ordinance allows HOA’s to eliminate short term rentals. If this ordinance is repealed, it’s like that any HOA within the Coastal Zone thateliminate short term rentalswill end up with a letter like the one sent to Mandalay Shores which includes a fine of circa $10,000 per diem for every day they do not comply with the Coastal Commissions requests, without this ordinance the coastal commission will likely demand that all HOA’s within the coastal zone allow short term rentals.

      Is that really what you want just so a handful of people in Capo Beach and try to back door sober living homes?

      Outside of the coastal zone our city can make any of the amendments that you are shooting for if the residents want. Furthermore, and a better option in my opinion, those that don’t have HOA’s and CC&R’s can form them and eliminate short term rentals if that’s what residents want. That way our fine neighbors in Capo Beach aren’t telling those of us that live across the city who can stay in our homes, when they can stay or for how long.

      What good will really come from all of this?

      Hopefully next time we are on the same side, I respect your tenacity. My daughter got up and spoke at the meeting and I hope that she continues to stand up for her beliefs the way many people are on this issue, I’ve met so many great people that own short term rentals, and become a lot closer with some of my neighbors because of this. Moreover, I’ve also had the privilege to have dialogue with great citizens like you and Toni Nelson who clearly care about this city.

      I hope that you guys have really thought through what it will mean to our city to repeal an ordinance that’s been in place and has been working for so long.

      Moreover, it’s been made clear that most of these owners are not wealthy investors but instead, you are threatening people’s livelihood, people will not give up or go away when their families and livelihoods are threatened and I will not stand by and watch it happen when they are my neighbors and friends. .

      Moreover, we know your true motives and your actions and words make many people feel like you don’t care about us. We are your neighbors, we care about our city, and we’ve told you over and over, yet you guys keep coming. You guys keep spreading fear and mis-stating the fact,

      While a win only means that our entire city will be then left to face off against the Coastal Commission and likely end up with huge legal fees and quit possibly huge fines, to accomplish what? To try to get rid of sober living homes when their lease contracts are over 30 days and don’t even qualify as vacation rentals?

      Let’s say you get your signatures. What happens next?

      Do you really think the city council will just get together and we’ll have a nice little discussion and come up with an ordinance that has a cap and creates distance rules etc and the Coastal Commission will sign off and say ok. Nice work!

      I’ve seen a recurring theme tonight about fear of big business. Which is a 180 from the arguments I saw before arguing that short term rentals were putting hotels “big business” out of business.

      I’m not sure which side the no is on, big business or anti-big business? You guys may want to get together and decide?

      Regardless, in Dana Point short term rentals are barely on the hotels radar.

      Moreover, as others have stated in different manners, hotels work because of economies of scale. The reason why the huge hotels lobbied against short term rentals in Anaheim was because they didn’t see it as a scalable, profitable model, if they did, rather than lobby against it they would have started buying up homes.

      Short term rentals have been part of Dana Point for over 50 years, I understand people’s fear of change, what’s interesting about this, is nothing is changing, the change will come in the form of no ordinance and what leads next, starting with the Coastal Commission coming down on every HOA in the Coastal zone that doesn’t allow short term rentals.

      This ordinance will not be here to protect them.

      this ordinance has been in place since April 2, 2013, I understand the facts don’t make good sound bites nor help create the fear you need to get signatures but I prefer to be on the side with the facts.

      Keep Dana Point Friendly

  • At the last hearing where Ordinance 5.38 was approved, one woman speaker waxed on about how great STRs are for the city. Cute, but silly, she then had her very young daughter address the council as to how beneficial STRs are to Dana Point.

    The comedy of this performance is that Ted the Enforcer and the Council knew this woman as her and her husband have been lobbying the council behind the scenes. What was the real capper is that she operates units in Niguel Beach Terrace against the CC&Rs and without a city permit. If she could brandish one of the city’s mighty and righteous permits, then that would evidence the total and complete breakdown of the alleged well functioning City Ordinance – model to all in the regulatory field.

    Why does cynicism drip from my pen, it because the city said they would not issue permits to units that violate the CC&Rs. Welcome to the City where the Emperors have no clothes.

    Robert

    • HI Robert— Keep Dana Point Friendly.

      http://www.keepdanapiontfriendly.com

      I only knew one speaker whose daughter spoke at the meeting besides my own and they operate rentals per Niguel Beach Terrace CC&R’s signing leases over 30 days.

      Moreover, when NIguel Beach Terrace first prohibited short term rentals they were left with two choices, ruin peoples vacations or pay the fines inflicted by Ted Harris’.

      They did what most respectable people would do, honored their reservations, paid the fines, and now lease for 30 days or more.

      It’s actually a great example of the benefits of this ordinance.

      Keep Dana Point Friendly http://www.keepdanapointfriendly.com

  • Its funny, if you want to sign the referendum petition on 5.38 you have to go to a $5 million estate on the bluffs of Capo Beach. Some very rich folks supporting this referendum, I wonder what’s in it for them? Clearly aren’t many STRs around there. I would have signed, but it looked like it was black tie only to get past the gate 🙂

    The Measure H and Measure I fight was exhausting to watch. Just wish we had taken all the money wasted there and built a parking garage downtown instead. Seems like that was the real issue.

    One thing I know for certain, these anti STR people seem really uptight, last thing we need to do is give them the power to decide who can live in our town and when. We’re a resort town for god’s sake, banning tourists here would be like banning fish in the sea.

    Here’s an idea, lets Save Dana Point by Keeping It Friendly.

  • HI Shevy,

    Each person may have a different reason for going with one side or the other. In the end we are all neigbor’s. We should continue to respect each other and work towards a solution.

    • Hi Mary;
      I think that a lot of your questions can be answered on our site, http://www.keepdanaPointfriendly.com

      If you still have questions, I’m happy to add them and respond with video that includes our city attorney and city managers/planners.

      Bottom line, it’s good ordinance, the city manager recommended approving it and it provides a mechanism for enforcement while keeping us in line with the Coastal Commission but reserving control for our city to do what we want outside the coastal zone.

      I look forward to working with you in the future. As for now, it will be helpful if people share the truth about the ordinance and stop fear mongering. I’ve set up a site for those that don’t have time to watch the whole meeting. It’s a work in progress, I’ll take everyone’s input and I hope that it can clear up and questions and put anyone’s fears to rest. This is a great city, if you look at this ordinance and take time to understand it, I believe that you will see that it protects all residents.

      With that said, there’s always room for improvement and contrary to what’s being spread, we can come together and improve it. I put a call into your group but have not heard back yet.

      If it’s repealed, we will likely have a war with the coastal commission and all bets are off.

      Shevy

      • Shevy: I found a case decided by the CA Supreme Court, Yost V. Thomas, which said in part,

        “The issue is whether the California Coastal Act (Coastal Act) (Pub. Resources Code, § 30000 et seq.) precludes a referendum on any local land use measure affecting the coastal zone which is adopted by a city council after the California Coastal Commission (Commission) has approved the city’s land use plan. We conclude that the Coastal Act does not preclude the referendum.”

        So maybe the CC wouldn’t have a say in the matter if a referendum to overturn the recently passed ordinance passes.

        I don’t have strong opinions one way or the other, but was thinking Dana Point would have been better off first passing a STR ordinance for outside of the Coastal Zone, and then going to the CC to try to extend it to the CZ. The Council could have had a 3 or 7 day minimum stay which would mitigate some of the complaints about STR, and this strategy might have put our city in a stronger position.

        • Thanks for the note. I appreciate the research and well thought out debate.

          Even if this ordinance passes, the city can amend 5:38 outside of the coastal zone and even take into account your suggestions if that’s what the city chooses.

          You can city some of the discussion on this topic here;

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6q9cVwWeL0

          I’ll work no getting additional clips as well.

          I agree, I’m not sure what say the Coastal Commission would have regarding the specific ordinance if a referendum passes.

          However, if you have a chance read the letter from the Coastal Commission to the Mandalay Shores HOA. The ultimate negotiation reached in this ordinance as discussed in the clip above is that they agreed to allow HOA’s within the coastal zone to prohibit short term rentals by granting the city permission to not issue required permits if not allowed by HOA’s and CC&R;’s.

          That’s where I anticipate legal issues coming for every HOA in the coastal zone that prohibits short term rentals if this referendum is successful.

          For what, so a few residents in Cap Beach can try to back door sober living homes and our city can be sued like Newport Beach was? It doesn’t make sense to me.

  • My understanding is if a referendum was indeed successful, we would basically be back to the “drawing board” in terms of this initiative, without a guarantee that the CCC would allow HOAs to prohibit STRs in the future. There is a recent case in Oxnard where the Mandalay Shores HOA has been threatened with a $10,000 per day fine because their CC&Rs prohibit STRs while being located in the coastal zone. More then 1/3 of Dana Point is in the Coastal Zone and almost all of this portion of the community is governed by HOAs and could be exposed to similar litigation by the CCC. The CCC has pointed to Dana Point’s 5.38 ordinance as a model ordinance in terms of managing STRs in the Coastal Zone. With our ordinance any HOA could place a 3 or 7 day minimum stay limit. Outside of the Coastal Zone, our City Council could enact similar restrictions without having to get CCC approval.

    So its sort of hard for me to understand what a referendum would accomplish, other than putting a great deal of our city at risk. Our city council has wide discretion to adjust the ordinance as needed outside the coastal zone, and within the Coastal Zone our HOAs can do the same.

  • Are Mega-Investors Changing Rental Housing?
    New management options emerge as major investment players settle into the single-family marketplace. Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, shares his thoughts.
    JULY 2014 | BY MARIWYN EVANS
    When large investors such as Blackstone and Colony American Homes began buying up single-family homes in 2011, most observers considered the acquisition a short-term play. Now, although acquisition has slowed, the successful securitization of SFH rental income by Invitation Homes (a Blackstone subsidiary), the transformation into REITs of large single-family owners such as American Homes 4 Rent, and the creation of the National Rental Home Council, a group that includes most of these new mega-investors, all indicate large investors are in it for a longer haul. How will their business models change the dynamics of the rental marketplace?

    How large a presence do these mega single-family owners represent in rental markets?

    At the end of 2013, mega-investors controlled about 200,000 single-family properties. That’s not much in a national market of 13 million single-family home rentals. It’s certainly not a game changer. Still, within certain niche markets in cities such as Atlanta, Phoenix, and Tampa, mega-investors are more of a factor. Most of these buyers have concentrated on a dozen or so cities with good potential for price appreciation. The one exception is American Homes 4 Rent, which owns properties in many more markets. Even within these markets, mega–investors won’t buy just anything. They are buying mostly homes priced between 100 and 140 percent of median price in locations where the sales price-to-rent ratio is favorable enough to yield a 5 to 10 percent annual cash flow with a five- to eight-year hold period.

    Which segments of the multifamily market are most vulnerable to competition from these new single-family properties?

    The demand for rentals is increasing, especially in moderate and middle-income groups that a few years ago might have bought homes. Single-family rentals have always attracted families with children who want a larger space with a yard. Homes owned by mega-investors may also attract renters willing to pay a premium if they can deliver the more professional management these large owners propose to offer. And relocation companies may be attracted to the extensive portfolios held by mega-investors.

    Will the mega-investors benefit from technology and economies of scale?

    The jury is still out on that. Single-family management requires a lot of hands-on involvement. One management option is to partner with local third-party management companies that already handle large pools of single-family rentals for small investors. Other potential partners might be large local investors. Perhaps the most successful model will end up looking more like a franchise with local managers who have some financial interest.

    • HI Mary;
      I’ve read many articles like this.. They are buying and renting to long term tenants, much less labor intensive. They were primarily buying in lower priced higher yield markets like Vegas and Phoenix during the last downturn.

      Again Mary, this ordinance has been in place since April 2, 2013, these corporations were purchasing long term rentals in many areas of the country.

      Why haven’t they over taken our neighborhoods as you fear?

      Thanks!

      Shevy

  • There are many of these Mega’s, that do various types of rentals. Not much STR in Atlanta, however… coastal area’s there are.

    Thanks!

    Mary

  • Hi Shevy,

    I thought we we’re going to sit down and work something out? People are ready and willing and then I hear/wittnessed that you and your KDF crew show up to the stores, we put it in print,complete transparency, we gave you the locations, along with the time’s. Hopeful for rational discussions. It was emotional chaos. There were shockingly rude accusations and personal insults. I was accused of being a racist by one man? Im married to a hispanic man and my family has married people from all different race’s creed and color. I just stood there stunned, I thought that if I were to speak out that this may escalate. I kept playing in my head how this very man had his beautiful daughter stand up and exercise her right to freedom of speech. I clapped for her and for all your children and I respect you for getting your children involved in the process. This was the very man today who stood in front of a security guard, trying to silence and stop the process, no kids in toe or groceries as he left the store, this lead me to believe he came just for this very reason. I didnt ask him if he wanted to sign, he came up to me and engaged. So insults went on from we were agianst disabled people and that was the true motive, to racisit and then filthy rich. When did it become bad to work hard and do well for yourself? SO it was all nonsence and I asked if he might move because I had a table and all other belongings. He would not, so I picked up my table and belongings and moved to the other side. I hear there was more of this going on at various stores and it saddens me. I am going to continue to work toward a solution and I don’t hold a grudge, in fact all the neighbors I have met are very kind people who love this City and want a solution. By the way my friend if I had the money I’d high tail it out of here after watching how neighbors speak to one another thats opinions differ from their own 🙁

    • Hi Mary– You and I were able to have a very logical and rational conversation today. We pretty much agree on all fronts. Our differences in opinion stem around what the right way and what the wrong way to go about things are.

      This ordinance is working, I think that you have some great ideas to strengthen it if necessary down the road, however, given it’s been in place and working, I’m not sure what the point is.

      With that said, unfortunately, a majority of your crew is not sending providing accurate information. Sending emails like “The end to residential neighborhoods” and the banners they have tables are misleading and what they are sharing is even worse.

      I do not blame a single homeowner in Dana Point for standing next to any of those that are spreading bad information and sharing flyers with people and asking them to learn about Ordinance 5:38 before signing anything to repeal it.

      Your group has my number, I will continue to wait for a call and a meeting. I do not anticipate it will happen because a majority of your group is trying to target sober living homes through short term rentals and I will not standby while people are lied to.

    • Jason Colaco, Dana Point Reply

      Mary Therese,

      I think you may be referencing the interaction you and I had yesterday. I was absolutely there to learn more about the referendum and wanted to ensure that folks you were speaking to heard both sides of the story. When you communicated to a potential petition signer that Ordinance 5.38 indirectly addresses the sober living home issue in the city, my point was that we need to be very careful as a city with how we handle this topic. People with addictions are considered disabled and are considered a protected class. Newport Beach recently lost a $10,000,000 ruling because they tried to use zoning laws to ban them there. 5.38 is an issue related to Short Term Rentals, telling people otherwise is incorrect.

      Regarding your comments regarding racism, at no point did I accuse you of anything of that nature. If you took it that way, I”m sorry, The security guard, an African American Dana Point resident, personally asked me my perspective on Ordinance 5.38. During that conversation, he asked me about the recent issue with Airbnb hosts being accused of discriminating when selecting guests. I merely told him that some people who are still not comfortable interacting with people from other countries, cultures, racial backgrounds, etc. and that this was unfortunate. At no point did I accuse you or allude that you were racist.

      By the way, I believe it was during this conversation he and I were having that you asked us to move. He told you no and I followed suit. I’m sure he works there daily and can corroborate the details.

  • I saw something very different today at the Albertsons, and I was actually quite impressed. There was a person against and a person for vacation rentals standing out front. The lady against had a nice little speech prepared and the gentleman had a flyer he gave me. It was all very cordial. I didn’t sign anything, but I respected that they were very civil to each other and to me.

    I was under the impression that this whole issue was regarding sober living homes, but apparently it is not.

    • S. Bhimani, Dana Point Reply

      I actually saw the anti Short Term Rentals folks get kicked out of Ralphs on Golden Lantern for being too aggressive with patrons. They were literally screaming at people unwilling to sign, pretty scary stuff.

  • S, Bhimani – I just left Ralphs and two very civil and friendly referendum supporters were there taking signatures. “Literally screaming blah blah”. You are obviously trolling this story for your STR friends but we wont be fooled. Keep Dana Point friendly – and honest.

    .

  • S. Bhimani, Dana Point Reply

    I wasn’t the only one who saw the incident, there were numerous people shopping, I even saw someone taking video. If people are peacefully and civilly collecting signatures, that is very nice to hear. That is not what I saw yesterday.

    • Come on Bhimani. How many STRs do YOU own? You and your Airbnb lobbyists got their way and persuaded Council to pass this dog. Now why not leave the nice people alone and let this go to a vote of ALL the people. If you think this is so popular in Dana Point you should have no problem letting people get signatures unaccosted.

      I heard the referendum folks complained about the aggressive tactics and the Ralphs manager asked both to leave because he didn’t want the hassle. Hopefully people won’t be dissuaded from voting to repeal this awful ordinance and working with a new Council to find something that protects everyone, not just STR owners (less than 1% of the population) and HOA residents. Let’s be fair and give democracy a chance.

  • S. Bhimani, Dana Point Reply

    Its humorous when people who live in palatial 5000 sqft estates on the Bluffs of Capo Beach throw stones at those who may operate an STR or may want to have the option in the future. As the videos from the council meetings clearly show, this is about the veteran renting out his back unit to make ends meet, the teacher who rents out her home in the summer, the divorcee trying to keep her house. If you and your neighbors with castles in the sky don’t want Short Term Rentals, why not just form an HOA? Its very simple and cheap to do. I have a hard time understanding why you are meddling in all of our neighborhoods where you are not wanted.

    This is an issue we are very passionate about, for many of us we couldn’t live in Dana Point without our Short Term Rentals. Of the 15,000 residential units in Dana Point there are 189 Short Term Rentals, half of what there were before the ordinance was put in place 3-years ago. We represent less then 2% of homes in Dana Point. As has been publicly stated by the police and code enforcement, we cause very few issues. Less then 5 in three years. So yes, we plan to be everywhere you are spreading your lies. We want to ensure the truth is heard.

    The time to vote on this issue would have been 3-years ago. If your referendum is successful 1/3 of Dana Point in the Coastal Zone would no longer be able to prohibit Short Term Rentals. We are seeing first hand what the Coastal Commission is doing to cities and neighborhoods that don’t cooperate with them. One HOA in Oxnard has been threatened with $10,000 per day fines if they don’t implement an ordinance like we have in Dana Point. Exposing our city to this type of risk is absolutely absurd. We have an ordinance where we can limit or prohibit Short Term Rentals in all of our city. Something that has been specifically confirmed by our City Attorney and City Manager. If you watch the video from the city council meeting you will hear them state, with complete certainty, that there is significant risk that what the Coastal Commission would accept in the future would be much worse then what we have negotiated with them today.

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