LOCAL STR INVESTOR SHOWS HIS IGNORANCE
SANDIE IVERSON, CAPISTRANO BEACH
I read with interest local realtor Shevy Akason’s letter in the Jan. 10 issue entitled “Small Group of Newer Residents Trying to Change Dana Point.” What a misleading title! Was he not aware that over 4,000 residents signed a referendum in 2016 to overturn a liberal short-term rental ordinance? Rather than “changing” Dana Point, they fought to retain their neighborhoods as homes for owners and renters who have invested in our city—people who vote, shop and live here, send their kids to local schools and care about their neighbors.
And what does he mean by “newer” residents? Last time I checked, all residents of Dana Point, whether old or new, have equal rights. In fact, newer residents pay a lot more in property taxes than older ones because of higher property valuations. For the record, I’ve been here for almost 30 years, and like most people I’m concerned about special interests trying to take residential homes out of our very tight housing pool and using them for short-term vacation rentals. I suggest Mr. Akason read some of the letters and complaints sent to Code Enforcement from ordinary citizens who are forced to handle the well-documented noise, parties and other nuisances from unsupervised STRs.
While our zoning allows anyone to rent their home for 30 days or more, short-term rentals are not permitted in Dana Point. Rather than suggesting that STR opponents are “taking away property rights,” Mr. Akason should admit the truth that no such property rights exist in Dana Point to begin with. Dana Point’s zoning code allows rentals of a minimum 30 days or more, period. He also suggests that it’s a good thing to protect homeowners associations from STRs, but he seems to be OK with throwing the rest of us who don’t live with HOA rules under the bus. How fair is that?
I understand he wants to rent his property short-term and turn it into a money maker whether that affects his neighbors or not, but fortunately, we all have property rights. If new STR rights are to be added to our zoning, every resident of Dana Point should be allowed to weigh in on it, since the desires of STR investors (who often don’t even live here) definitely impact the quiet enjoyment of our homes and neighborhoods.