Felicia Lurner, Capistrano Beach

After reading Charles Payne’s Letter to the Editor in the Oct. 11 issue of Dana Point Times, I thought that I should share some of my experiences for those residents of Dana Point who may not understand what it means to have short-term rentals (STRs) in the neighborhood. Like most, our home is our single largest investment. We believed we were buying in a residential community and that the city would honor that designation. We were shocked to discover that the city council had unilaterally decided to allow commercial hotel/motel operations right next door with zero supervision!

Unfortunately for us, we have STR houses on both sides of our property. The city allows new renters to check in and out as often as every three days. Adding to that, different cleaning crews arrive to clean each time, with no regard for holidays, Saturdays or Sundays!

We have a zero lot line, and it is like living on a strip of poorly run hotels with no management on site.  Renters have zero sense of community or belonging. I can hear every word that is being said on their patios, and they have little regard for our privacy. They are on vacation and have come to party. And this they do! You can imagine the impact of these nuisances on our property value.

I have visiting grandchildren who I try to get to bed at a reasonable time, and I have to get up and go to work in the mornings. Unfortunately, guests on both sides are often still outside at midnight, drinking and partying. Our quality of life has 100% been compromised due to the STRs. We would be better off renting full-time in a hotel, where at least they’d have resources to correct loud neighbors. I have no alternative but to call the police, which I try to avoid, as the police have much more serious issues to deal with.

I call and write to the city constantly and even if they do issue a violation, it’s ineffective. There is a house on my street with eight violations, yet they continue to rent, because the fines are low compared to the revenue coming in, and there is little consequence to leaving them unpaid.

Everyone deserves the quiet enjoyment of their homes. The City of Dana Point has let their residents down.

About The Author Dana Point Times

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  • I can first handedly 100% attest to the utter and complete accuracy of Felicia’s account. About a year and a half ago I house-sat for a relative in a very high-end and sought-after beach front gated neighborhood here in Dana Point. Not only was I able to help out a family member, but the timing couldn’t have been better as I was finishing my thesis for my masters degree- peace and quiet with the crashing waves in the background was beyond ideal. However this was not even remotely the case. Over the month that I stayed at this residence, I lost count of the number of renters and guests that frequented the surrounding houses. Music and booming basses kept me up at all hours, the smell of smoke from cigarettes constantly wafting into my room, with loud voices and drunken singing and yelling, even fights seemed to occur without disruption. I can totally understand that it may be a “fun weekend away” for them, but for people who have the misfortune of having their permanent paradise residence being a constant rerun of “MTVs spring break,” would be a living nightmare. When I was asked how my time away was; I explained that “I think I got a glimpse of what hell must be like.. Imagine being starving, finally finding a can of food.. with no can opener in sight.” That’s what it felt like to stay there for just a short duration. Needless to say I had just as much writing to do when I left as when I arrived.

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