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William Matthies, Dana Point

Prior to moving to Beach Road I had never heard the term short-term rental or the acronym STR, but I certainly know them now. I also know who advocates for short term rentals; those who own STR property and their rental agents, both of which profit from the activity. They have a commercial interest in seeing the practice continue, one that is incompatible with the values of a traditional residential neighborhood.

Three years ago, when the Dana Point City Council provisionally approved STR’s within the city, pending Coastal Commission approval of the city’s proposed STR plan, they promised Dana Point/Capo Beach residents aggressive enforcement of STR regulations to protect the property rights of the overwhelming majority of property owners who do not rent their homes. Those of us who prefer no commercial activity in our residential neighborhoods.

Three years later we know conclusively the city could not and did not fulfill that promise, not with one part time staff charged with regulation and enforcement for the entire city. The city’s apparent preference was to net as much as possible of the gross TOT (transient occupancy tax) revenue collected from registered STR’s (not all STR’s within the city are registered).

In short, collect the money, spend the money, just not as promised.

There has been no appreciable regulation enforcement and as a result, the quality of life for those of us who live in proximity to short-term rentals is greatly diminished.

If you do not currently have an STR property near you, you might well have one or more very soon given the proliferation of online rental agencies such as AirBnB and others like them. If that happens, you, as I do now, will have an up-close and personal view of the damage done to residential neighborhoods, as well as your peaceful enjoyment of your property, as a result of short-term rentals.

Note to Dana Point city councilmen: Do the right thing as an increasing number of SoCal cities are doing, and ban short-term rentals within Dana Point/Capo Beach.

Note to Dana Point/Capo Beach residents: Pay close attention to how each Dana Point councilperson votes on this issue at the September 6 city council meeting as you decide who you will vote for council in the upcoming and future elections.

Don’t allow Dana Point/Capo Beach to continue down the path of becoming a short-term rental ghetto. If you care about your neighborhood, come to the Sept. 6 city council meeting and make your views known.

If you can’t be at that meeting write the city council members prior to the meeting in care of Kathy Ward, Dana Point City Clerk (kward@danapoint.org). Make sure you request that she pass your letter to the council members to be included in the staff report. And if you would like more information about a number of issues important to all residents of Dana Point/Capo Beach, contact Capo Cares at capocares@gmail.com or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CapoCares/).

To submit a letter to the editor, email editorial@danapointtimes.com.

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