PALM DESERT, Calif. - People in support of short-term vacation rental properties in Palm Desert are trying to gain support ahead of a City Council meeting where council members will once again be revisiting new rules following a moratorium that was put in place at the beginning of the year. This video is making the rounds on social media. It features folks giving testimonies on how short-term rentals help support them and their families. It was made by the group We Share Palm Desert.
"We believe in enforcement but we don’t want to a ban, we believe it should be enforced, we believe there should be rules we believe there should be fines," said Kathleen Sunshine O’Brien, a vacation rental property owner and member of We Share Palm Desert.
Recently council members voted to phase out short-term rentals on properties in the single family neighborhoods by 2019. Those caught operating without a permit could be hit with a $5,000 fine.
Claudio Bravo built a home in Palm Desert to make it a vacation destination for others, but for Bravo it’s an investment to support his family.
"I want to be able to rent it to a good family not bad people to make noise. I am the first person to support that. I want to have enforcement and have an opportunity to take a person out of the house to do the right thing," Bravo said.
STR advocates tell KESQ and CBS Local 2 reporter Joe Galli that they can’t rent out large homes year round. Folks who can afford the rent for a large house can also afford not to live in a part of the world that has average temperatures in the 100s during the summer.
Advocates said the people that rent these homes are usually families or large groups coming to town for the BNP Paribas or Coachella.
"Most of it is families they want to enjoy their pool they want to go to nice restaurant and I do not think they want to do bad things," Bravo said.
In October the City Council voted to approve the new rules but according Dan Hermann, Palm Desert public information officer, the city attorney said the council made too many significant changes during the meeting. The next time the issue goes before the council it’ll be the first reading of a brand new ordinance.
That ordinance is scheduled to be on the agenda at the city council meeting on Nov. 16th.
It’s expected to be a jam-packed meeting that will run very late.