This is my response to Mr. and Mrs. Bell’s June 3 letter of rebuttal to my May 27 letter to the editor (“Step Up the Pressure to Ban Short Term Rentals Permanently”).
The Bell’s should take the time to learn how things actually work in the city of Laguna Beach. When a person in Laguna Beach finds it necessary to make a complaint to the Police Department, Building Department, Code Enforcement or Animal Control, the law is that the name of the party that makes the complaint is withheld unless it becomes a citation or law case. Therefore, when they demand to know when my or any of the 241 complaints that they would like to believe are an unsubstantiated fictional creation from an overreaching city employee, is the very essence of Orwellian double talk.
The city is not going to reveal who the 241 complaints came from by law. This does not mean they never happened, which is apparently what the Bell’s would like us to think. I don’t know city employee Ann Larson, but does anyone think a person in her position would just make this kind of thing up?
The other point I wish to address is that if all guests, or for that matter all long term renters caused no problems there would be no need to ban short term renters, or make complaints about the bad habits of long term renters. Most short-term renters are going to make sure they have the best time possible even if that causes excess noise late at night from loud music and talking like I have had to experience multiple times. When four to six people rent a place for a two-night stay they often also invite their friends to come and party. More cars, more disturbance in an otherwise quite neighborhood. And what do they care if the police finally show and ask them to quiet down at 2 a.m.? Even if their host tells them they can’t rent again, so what, they just book somewhere else next time.
We are already in the summer rental time and I can tell you it’s just going to get worse. If you are aware that neighbors are doing illegal short-term rentals, without a permit you should complain to Code Enforcement by calling 497-6678 or emailing [email protected]
Let’s hope the city council votes to ban short-term rentals permanently because trying to regulate them is just not realistic.
David Milton, Laguna Beach