Shevy Atkinson, Dana Point

Our community should come together to discuss how the city will look if the referendum is successful. What will be put in its place? If it stays, how can it be improved? Can there be an ordinance that creates a win-win?

As result of supporting Ordinance 5.38, which was a compromise, I’ve received flak from both sides, those that don’t like that with the ordinance the city supports HOAs’ ability to prohibit vacation rentals and think that people should be allowed to do what they want with their properties and from those that don’t think that there should be any vacation rentals in the city at all.

Witnessing the divisive communication pertaining to this issue, the money spent on signature gatherers who, in many cases, lied to our residents, and the overall dialogue I’ve felt many times I would be better off forgetting about it. However, I was reminded the other day how blessed we are to live in Dana Point, a city where this argument is even possible and that if I have a chance to stand up for what’s right, I need to.

To elaborate, my parents built a house circa 30 years ago in Fargo, North Dakota, where I grew up. I was the oldest of five kids and my youngest brother just left to law school, and now the home is too big for my mom. She would love to keep it, and we discussed options, but ultimately it made the most sense to sell it. Planning this year’s Christmas, I realized this will be one of only a handful of years that we will probably only fly in and out of Fargo. If my mom’s home was in Dana Point, where short-term rentals are allowed, we could have helped her to vacation rent the home.

I would like to have that option when my kids are grown and it’s time for me to downsize. It’s disappointing that some in our city would like to take this option that our citizens have enjoyed for years away.

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