SHEVY AKASON, Dana Point
My name is Shevy Akason. I’m raising four kids with my wife in Dana Point, I’m a real estate agent, I coach three youth basketball teams, and my wife and I volunteer at the school when we can. I occasionally vacation-rent my home when I go on vacation. However, according to Roger Malcom of Capistrano Beach, vacation rental owners are “not a neighbor” and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to rent their own homes.
Dana Point had a good ordinance to regulate vacation rentals until Sanford Edwards, a developer, contributed to a group that paid signature gatherers for a referendum to get rid of it, not because it was a bad ordinance, but because he develops hotels, and this contribution helped him further other interests he had with the city.
Now Debra Lewis and Paul Wyatt are on the hook as the Short Term Rental Subcommittee to create a new ordinance and have spent the last two-plus years coming up with a proposal that would likely fail with the California Coastal Commission, because it is too restrictive to visiting families. In other words, we are no closer to an ordinance than we were before the referendum. In a recent city council meeting, Wyatt and Lewis put forward a motion to bring a vote on the as-yet-undefined STR ordinance to a vote by the people. Even the city attorney said the motion carried no weight, so in addition to two-plus years, now we all wasted two-plus hours at a city council meeting discussing a motion that was useless.
When will our elected officials start working toward a compromise on this important topic to help regulate STRs and build real enforcement steps rather than engaging in delay tactics and political grandstanding?