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ELLIS KUPFERMAN, Dana Point

This letter to the editor is in response to the short-term rental “advertorial” authored by Jeff Rosaler, Community Development Manager of the City of Dana Point, in the Feb. 12 edition of Dana Point Times.

Mr. Rosaler’s advertorial once again fully demonstrates the city council of Dana Point is not listening to residents regarding STRs. Mr. Rosaler oversimplifies the history of STRs in Dana Point, as if residents aren’t familiar with the attempted STR coups of the past and present. His recount only underscores that a majority of residents do not want unrestricted STRs and will fight to keep them out of residential neighborhoods. Yet the city council continues to sell unrestricted STRs throughout Dana Point. And now they are spending taxpayer dollars on “advertorials” to push their agenda under the guise of city staff, who are supposed to remain neutral.

In his LTE a few weeks ago, Dana Point resident Steve Didier noted the city council could protect residential neighborhoods right now by at least banning STRs outside the Coastal Zone, where many of the existing 144 short-term rentals are located. Yet in his, or council’s, taxpayer-funded advertorial, Mr. Rosaler tries to justify why the California Coastal Commission should dictate STR policy outside the Coastal Zone. He then telegraphs exactly what is to come.

Mr. Rosaler suggests any future program will discourage absentee “corporate” ownership. Mr. Rosaler, and the city council, are playing with semantics here. They are not listening to residents who have stated loud and clear since 2016 that they do not want any form of absentee ownership … corporate, individual, partnership, or otherwise. Read between the lines, people. Mr. Rosaler later states the city will “consider possibly allowing permits” for all forms of STRs in a “pilot program.” The city has decades of experience with unrestricted STRs. The proposed “pilot program” is just another ruse to expand STRs before another referendum or ballot initiative prohibits them again.

Mr. Rosaler has made it abundantly clear that the city council wants all manner of STRs in residential neighborhoods, even outside the Coastal Zone. Thank you for telegraphing what we can expect. But, hey, maybe I’m wrong and the city council will at least limit their STR “pilot program” to the homestay model. But their history, and Mr. Rosaler’s propaganda, strongly suggest otherwise.

Editor’s note:  If interested in participating in or viewing upcoming City of Dana Point meetings on short-term rentals, you can request to be included on the email list by emailing str@danapoint.org. Information to participate virtually will be made available prior to the meeting. For more information on STR regulation and workshops, visit danapoint.org/shorttermrentals.

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