Group works to stop short-term vacation rentals in Palm Desert

Protect Palm Desert collecting signatures

'Protect Palm Desert' collecting signatu

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The City of Palm Desert is under a one-year moratorium on short-term rentals, but that doesn't mean that there is not movement happening behind the scenes.

A grass-roots organization spearheaded by a local woman had collected more than 1,500 signatures on a petition against STRs Wednesday afternoon.

"For the last two, three months, I have been walking the street for up to six hours a day," said Protect Palm Desert organizer Christel Prokay.

Prokay has braved the heat to connect with neighbors and add their names to a petition.
"They are upset, some of them angry," she said.

"I think it's going to wake the Planning Commission up," said former mayor Van Tanner.

Tanner and concerned resident Tim Skogen both support the grass-roots movement.

"The experience we've had over the past few years has eroded the quality of life," Skogen said.

Mayor Pro Tempore Sabby Jonathan told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner that the petition is welcomed by the city.

"We encourage our residents to be involved and to communicate with us and to develop rules that makes sense for them and for everyone," Jonathan said.

While the signatures are not binding, they do show how much support is behind the movement. Prokay said she plans to carry on for her goal of 2,500 signatures. She also is giving out lawn signs to those who want them.

A Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 19. Community members from all sides of the argument are invited to attend.

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