Vacation Rental Visitors Enrich the Community

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Editor, 

Anyone who came to the short-term vacation rental sub committee meeting witnessed  the well orchestrated, well scripted “Ban STVR” proponents clearly trying to create hysteria and fear mongering about “losing our residential neighborhoods” to the onslaught of STVRs.

Their speakers were exposed numerous times for misrepresenting information from other cities and they arrogantly belittled the silent majority of residents, who have been doing STVRs or support it. Interesting how many of the “ban” speakers were local real estate agents, whom I suspect have seen their summer rental  business dry up due to the rise of the web-based STVR platforms. VRBO and AirBnB had 500+ listings in Laguna Beach last year before the city began its aggressive enforcement with the vigilante support of the ban proponents, many of whom helped city enforcement seek out and report their neighbors who were suspected of operating out of compliance.

After hearing Ann Larsen explain the administrative use permit process, it became obvious why there have only been 34 AUPs issued in the past 17 years. The current process is contentious, costly and has a very low probability of success. It also doesn’t make sense for those of us who just want to rent our homes occasionally when we go on vacation. Also, the city staff’s report and recommendations for a new ordinance, based on extremely biased research, was not data driven and in defiance of what they were directed to do by the City Council.

I have been a Laguna Beach resident for 35 plus years, raised my children here and have lived in three different neighborhoods in Laguna over the years. My current home was originally built in 1954 as a second home and was used for STVR. From its founding, Laguna Beach has always been a multi-use community (full time residents/homeowners, second home owners, long term renters and STVR, all living together.) This mixture has helped enrich our community and support the myriad of wonderful restaurants, shops and art community activities available to all residents.

Many of us would like to continue the tradition of Laguna Beach to rent our homes out for a few weeks at a time, when we take our families on vacation in the summers and holidays. I encourage the City Council to not overreact to the hysteria, misinformation, lies and the isolated problems created by the few irresponsible STVR owner’s, (most of whom don’t live in Laguna Beach) to be the premise for creating an ordinance banning a STVR option for thousands of Laguna Beach residents and homeowners.

 

Carl Kikerpill, Laguna Beach

 

 

 

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