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?

About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (1)

  • Hi Shevy, I would like to respond to several of your comments about a new Short Term Rental (STR) ordinance that the city council will be considering shortly. Why do you continue to make your misleading comments?

    The city’s STR subcommittee, on which MR. TOMLINSON was a member for the majority of the time, has been consulting the CCC about conditions it would find acceptable. Most now recognize that the STR ordinance that the city council passed would have been a disaster for residential neighborhoods had it remained in effect, although probably a boon to the STR industry and your personal business interests. Residents should have a vote on this critical issue that affects every resident, property owner and renter in the city. Unfortunately, Councilmen Muller, Viczorek and Federico refused to even offer residents an unbinding assurance.

    Regarding Mr. Edwards involvement in the passage of the Referendum to have the city’s STR ordinance either rescinded or go to a vote of the people, residents had about three weeks to collect over 2,100 valid signatures. Residents spent thousands of dollars for the legal work, printing the petitions and signs and hundreds of hours at grocery stores and going door to door in the neighborhoods.

    WHEN STR ADVOCATES BEGAN TO HARRASS residents at grocery stores (and didn’t you work with those people ?) MR. EDWARDS WAS ASKED BY RESIDENTS to pay for signature gatherers and thankfully he agreed . As it turned out when the signatures were submitted to the Registrar of Voters, residents alone had gathered 2,100 signatures with about 4,000 gathered in total.

    I know you are anxious to have a pro-STR ordinance passed that would be favorable to your business interests, but this issue shouldn’t be rushed. Cities throughout the county are dealing with the adverse effects of STR ordinances, even prohibiting STRs entirely. Dana Point needs to get it right.

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