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Nadia Starner, Capistrano Beach

Dear Resident,

I don’t know where you received your information in your letter to the editor regarding how the short-term rental (STR) referendum signatures were obtained and what was being explained to the public. It is completely false and unfair to the many decent people you have insulted, and I can attest to this first hand. To place this false information in regards to the many community volunteers is not only un-ethical and wrong, but are the actual actions used by the opposition (pro-str) to derail the referendum.

In regards to those community residents volunteering to ensure the safety and unity of our families in residential neighborhoods and stop the self-interest profiteering of our community, they stated the facts to all who chose to sign the petition and all who signed were community residents that did not want or whole heartedly agree with the Council’s decision to change the zoning and ordinances to appease investors via opportunistically marketing our neighborhoods as hotels or transient lodging.

I would appreciate very much if you would understand the definition of the petition: “Referendum definition, the principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body been referred to them for a direct decision.” Understand the facts prior to publishing your own or trying to come off as the victim. The only victims, if any, would be the long-term residents and families in our community that would suffer from self-interest profiteers that cannot see beyond the dollar in order for the rest of us to maintain a quality of life and the unity and betterment of our community.

To all and any who would like to operate transient lodging businesses please consider moving to a hotel zoned area…because I personally love coming home to my neighborhood. Although everyone has rights to the property they own and invest in the rights of a community and the purpose of purchasing in a particular zone should be a decision made prior to your purchase. I personally chose to buy my house to raise a family in a residential zone and if I came to change this decision why should a neighborhood.

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (4)

  • My name is Shevy Akason, I am a long term resident, I own one home in Dana Point where I’m raising my family with four kids. The ordinance that had been in place for 3 years was not turning residential neighborhoods into hotel zones. Moreover, though I understand it’s easier to vilify people that you don’t agree with, I’m really sick of it. If you actually meet vacation rental owners many of them are retirees that live in the home part time and travel other times, some are teachers that wanted to live by the beach but couldn’t afford it without renting their homes during the summer, some are divorcees that vacation rent to pay their mortgage, others are grandparents that want a place near their grand kids part of the year, some are families that prefer to vacation rent to other families when they travel rather than leave their homes vacant. Stop vilifying vacation rental owners as people less worthy of being property owners.

    The ordinance was specifically put in place because 9 years ago residents complained about short term rentals and the city said they had no way to enforce or regulate them so they implemented the ordinance that had worked well by all accounts for 3 years that was just voted down, Confusing short term rentals with sober living homes it what’s caused a majority of this mess our city is now in.

    In fact, very few residential neighborhoods had any short term rentals. Beyond the real target being sober living homes. Neighborhoods that were the focus of the anti-vacation rental leaders were neighborhoods like beach road where the first homes were built circa 50 plus years ago as second homes/vacation homes . Now, newer residents that have moved in are trying to change the community, while convincing residents that have had little or no personal experience with short term rentals that they will have hotels popping up left and right because of the “ordinance that the council just past” which simply not true. There have been vacation rentals in the city for 50+ years and most residential neighborhoods have very few if any short term rentals. The ones that do for the most part are a huge improvement over the depilated homes that many of them were prior to being remodeled and becoming a place to stay for families on vacation.

    I personally lived on beach road for 6 months while building my home, though it would not be my first choice as a place to raise my family, it was a great experience and one that many families I spoke to while living there had been doing for many years, some well over 20. Moreover, I was able to make a choice as residents of our city were allowed to do under the previous ordinance if I didn’t want to live in a neighborhood like Beach Road with a number of short term rentals I could move to a neighborhood with an HOA that doesn’t allow them or my neighbors and I could get together if a majority of us don’t want vacation homes we could form an HOA or CC&Rs to ban them. The fact that you suggest that anyone that wants to share their home part of the year should move to a commercial zone is ridiculous. Which brings me to my next point, the leaders of this group were told the same thing, form an HOA or CC&R’s, thanks to this ordinance you can ban short term rentals and vacation homes, however, they realized that they would not win a fight against vacation homes in their neighborhood and their neighborhood would not stand for CC&R’s or allow and HOA to form to ban them so they decided to try to impose their views on the entire city, even if it means throwing everyone in the Coastal Zone that lives in an HOA under the bus and stomping on the property rights of everyone that lives in communities without HOA’s to avoid HOA style restrictions. .

    Nadia, regarding your choice to buy in a residential neighborhood, vacation renting is a residential use and most neighborhoods in Dana Point do not have demand for vacation rentals and therefore will not have vacation homes regardless, the last 3 years has proven this , The ordinance that past was a compromise with the coastal commission that was not easily achieved and allowed HOA’s to ban short term rentals, which may not happen again now that the ordinance was voted down. While you purchased your home where you did, many other people purchased in areas without HOA’s so that they would not be told what color to paint their home, if they can have a statue of a cow in their yard, who can stay in their homes, when they can stay there, or for how long

    In addition, personally witnessed the paid signature gatherers lying to residents of our city. More than that, I witnessed non-paying signature gatherers lying as well and my neighbors also shared stories of lies they were told. If you were one of the honest ones, good for you, I applaud you. Unfortunately you were the exception and not the rule on that campaign.

  • The vacation rental problem is really just a simple zoning issue. The opportunity to double one’s income only exists because most of us follow the rules that prohibit commercial use of residential properties.

    Great, you can get away with an illegal business and make extra money! Aren’t we clever?

    • Koert, your reply is in line with someone that doesn’t have any information to properly support or debate their position. Which is probably why you didn’t use your full name and you are attempting to be anonymous?

      Double one’s income? commercial use in residential properties? What are you talking about? Who is clever? This isn’t an elementary school playground argument.

  • If a transient occupancy tax is being collected, and that tax had not been subject to residential units previously, then that is a new tax, or more correctly, an extension of the existing tax. That is a violation of State Proposition 218 of 1996, that guarantees the rights of citizens to a vote for the new tax. A new tax is defined as a new tax, extension of an existing tax, or an increase of an existing tax. That vote is not a general fund tax, and requires a 2/3rd’s majority vote No vote no tax.. Bill Halle of O’Neil, LLP in Irvine is handling my suit against the City of Ventura. The TOT is part of that suit.

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