On Tuesday, June 4, City Council will vote on a second reading of the compromise between the city and the Coastal Commission on an ordinance that protects residential neighborhoods from Short Term Lodgings (STLs). It is critical that you contact your council members and urge them to vote yes in support of this ordinance. It is not obvious that all council members will vote yes. By contacting council members, you can help ensure that they do vote yes.
Here are 10 reasons why you should want the Council to vote yes:
- Zoning in a residential zone legally protects you from a commercial activity which undermines your legal property rights to the quiet enjoyment of your home.
- STLs are simply commercial low-service mini-motel businesses operated for profit.
- The large majority of STL businesses have no owner or manager on the premises and many STLs are not even the primary homes of the mini-motel’s operator.
- An STL on your street will generate issues of parking, noise, trash, and other negative impacts from people who have no commitment to your neighborhood.
- The steady change of renters in the STL mini-motel will replace known neighbors who contribute to the sense of community in your neighborhood.
- An STL close to your home lowers your home’s property value by 5-10 percent, according to local realtors.
- The profit drive to convert properties to STLs reduces the number of reasonably-priced long-term rentals for deserving locals and has led to numerous evictions.
- The dream that the city staff could patrol STLs to ensure that they are only rented for a few weeks per year is just that, a dream. Most profit-driven STL operators would end-run such rules.
- It would actually be neighbors who would try to determine how many weeks of STL activity wereoccurring – a surveillance and privacy nightmare for everyone.
- You do not want to permit an STL to operate next door to your home.
Do not let Councilmembers capitulate to the small proportion of individuals who want to make profit from running a mini-motel business on a residential street, and who are very vocal in pressuring the Council. Please make your voice heard as part of the large (but too often silent) majority who oppose allowing an STL next door to their home. Contact Councilmembers. Attend Council on June 4. Do not assume others will do it for you!
James Danziger, Laguna Beach