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Betty Hill, Capistrano Beach
A referendum to overturn the controversial short-term rental ordinance recently passed by Councilmen Schoeffel, Olvera and Mayor Tomlinson is being circulated throughout Dana Point. If the referendum passes, a vote of the people would be required before the ordinance could become law. A vote would be warranted because the ordinance affects all Dana Point residents and will change the character of our city forever. There are only six days left for Dana Point registered voters to sign the referendum and ensure its passage.
Opponents of the referendum have interfered with our efforts to obtain signatures at local supermarkets. They have angered people and store managers so much that times are no longer listed when the referendum can be signed at those locations. Obviously, opponents of the referendum do not want Dana Point voters to have the opportunity to vote.
The ordinance allows two-day vacation rentals in all residential neighborhoods. It needs strengthening to make regulations that are enforceable and improvements to address the concerns not only of residents who want to rent their homes, but also to consider the impact on their neighborhoods. Likewise, there are no protections for our long-term renters who could be displaced or priced out of the market by the conversion to short-term rentals.
Many referendum signers had no idea such a significant ordinance had been passed. Our neighboring cities have restricted or prohibited short-term rentals because of their recent proliferation due to Airbnb and VRBO. Shouldn’t that send up a red flag? There are no provisions in our ordinance that would control proliferation or the exploitation of our neighborhoods by outside investors.
A recent amendment is a major addition to the ordinance, ceding local control over short-term rentals to the California Coastal Commission. Councilman Viczorek vehemently opposed passing the ordinance because of this amendment and urged the Council to unanimously reject it.
Time is short. Please sign the referendum in your neighborhoods at the earliest opportunity. Thank you for caring about the future of Dana Point. To contact us, please email: DPRRD@cox.net or visit www.facebook.com/DanaPointResidents.
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