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Roger Malcolm, Capistrano Beach
In response to George Ray’s letter in last week’s Dana Point Times, let me respond to a few points.
Did your neighbors get any say on your three Airbnbs? I suspect most of them, like me, moved into their neighborhoods thinking they were putting their most valuable asset in a residential neighborhood—not a business district.
I suspect they’re none too happy with what your three mini-hotels have done to their property values. Then you state that “a majority of Dana Point residents are really not that troubled by STRs.” Of course not. There are only about 160 of them right now, plus the usual illegal ones. But what happens when our council majority gets their way and opens this up citywide? How long before they proliferate as they have in every beach city dumb enough to allow unrestricted STRs? And what happens to the poor long-term renters?
The one thing you got right was saying the voting public doesn’t get a choice on STRs. Thanks to Joe Muller, Richard Viczorek and Jamey Federico, that’s exactly right. Three councilmembers who have very few STRs in their own districts have the gall to impose them on the rest of us. They’ll decide to impose them on Lantern District and Capistrano Beach, which already have 73% of them. And thanks to districting, they know we can’t recall them since we couldn’t vote for them, either.
Wrong again on the CCC, though. You suggest they will push for unrestricted STRs, but a recent OC Register article quotes CCC staff as saying, “The commission has recognized legitimate community concerns over potential adverse impacts associated with vacation rentals, with respect to housing stock and affordability, community character, noise and traffic impacts.” That’s why CCC staff recommended the homestay ordinance modeled on Santa Monica’s, suggesting that it would indeed meet with CCC approval.
Seventy-two percent of STR owners in Dana Point are full-time investors, not primary residents renting their home for a month while on vacation (which is perfectly legal, by the way). According to the survey, 60% of residents surveyed disapprove (45% strongly disapprove) of that.
I know you enjoy the revenue stream. Who wouldn’t? But neighbors shouldn’t have to suffer because STR owners are running businesses next door.