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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

A Dana Point City Council agenda item on short-term rental regulation drew about a dozen public comments from both opponents and proponents of short-term rentals.

Councilmember Jamey Federico brought forth a proposal on direction to give to the city’s Short Term Rental Subcommittee, which had been formed in April 2018.

“The purpose is to outline policy objectives. We had a lot of discussion at the last meeting about proposed short-term rental ordinances,” Federico said. “Before we go further down that road, I’d like to get council to agree on what we’re trying to achieve.”

Federico’s recommended action was that city council formally adopt policy objectives that staff and the Short Term Rental Subcommittee will use in drafting any proposed ordinance; direct that Short Term Rental Subcommittee meetings be open to the public; and authorize the City Manager to contract for the completion of a statistically valid resident survey focused on short-term rental policy.

Speakers included representatives from short-term rental businesses who spoke in favor of protecting their livelihood, as well as residents who condemned the nuisance short-term rentals can cause.

Councilmembers Debra Lewis and Paul Wyatt currently sit on the subcommittee.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation. This subcommittee was set up by the council as an ad hoc subcommittee, which means it was not to meet regularly,” Lewis said. “So under the rules of an ad hoc subcommittee, it wasn’t required to have public meetings. I didn’t set it up this way specifically.”

Lewis asserted that the city made a promise to residents when it zoned residential areas.

When Federico moved to adopt the action items, Lewis proposed a substituted motion to discuss and vote on each of the items separately and to add a fourth item—that any short-term rental ordinance revisions will go to a vote of all the residents.

Lewis’s motion failed for lack of a second.

Federico amended his motion to vote on each item individually, and amended the language to part two for the subcommittee to conduct public outreach. In his final comments, he addressed Lewis’s failed motion for a ballot measure.

“We may need to go to a ballot measure for this, but we should consider it our responsibility to come up with a policy for this. Before we give up on that, I want us to do that work,” Federico said.

Each of Federico’s recommended action items passed.

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