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Jason Colaco, Dana Point Resident

Short-term rentals have been a part of the fabric of Dana Point for 50 years. I discovered Dana Point after having stayed in a vacation rental across from Strands in 2002. This will be my 11th year as a resident of Dana Point, we fell in love with the city after that fateful stay. The Coastal Commission has lauded our short-term rental amendment as one that other cities should follow. Problematic owners can have their permits revoked, strict parking requirements are in place and there are also firm guidelines in terms of the number of guests you can host. Finally, a thorough inspection is required before a permit will be issued.

The program has been wildly successful. According to the planning department and code enforcement, there have been few complaints. It has generated over $400,000 in tax revenue yearly. Finally, it has resulted in millions spent with our local businesses.

While the Coastal Commission would like the amendment to become part of the Local Coastal Plan, they have also given our City Council important mechanisms to modify sections of the amendment. For example, the penalties section and revocation of permits section could be amended without Coastal Commission approval.

With the upcoming vote on Sept. 6, our city can take a leadership role when it comes to managing short-term rentals versus ending up in long and expensive lawsuits with the Coastal Commission like other cities. I am deeply concerned that hotel lobbyists and large corporate interests are behind the push to prohibit short-term rentals, and we as residents need to fight for our property rights.

To submit a Letter to the Editor, send us an email at letters@danapointtimes.com.

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