Appropriateness of short-term vacation rentals continues to stir debate

Short-term vacation rentals have been a topic of debate for homeowners and visitors vacationing here in the Coachella Valley amid the pandemic. Now, Cathedral City moving forward with its phase-out plans.

A quiet neighborhood in the Cathedral City could see some changes with its short term vacation rentals. 

“I think it’s about time and it’s gotten out of hand and I think there are way too many of them currently in the city it just seems that way,” said Keith Coleman.

Keith Coleman has lived in the cove area for over 30 years. And with at least a dozen STVR homes around him, his concerns have grown amid the pandemic. 

“I think they need to put a handle on it and phasing it out is the best way to do it,” said Coleman.

Cathedral City moving forward with plans to phase out STVR homes in a couple of neighborhoods over two years with the exceptions for properties in homeowners’ associations and home-sharing rentals.

We looked at other valley cities to see how they are tackling the concerns. 

La Quinta’s city manager, John McMillen said the pandemic has caused a strain in residential communities.  

“There are a lot of different groups and certainly some younger groups that are coming in and utilizing the short-term vacation rentals as really their only outlet, you know, with bars being closed it just provides an opportunity for a gathering spot,” said McMillen.

McMillen said the city has placed executive orders to limit noise and regulate those staying in STVR homes. But there could be other recommendations on the table. 

“Areas where they limit the number of short-term vacation rentals one per geographical zone that could occur. So we’re really exploring all of that,” said McMillen.  

In Palm Springs the city manager there says they are not considering a moratorium at this time.

 “If we saw that there was continued abuse it is something certainly council could consider in the further but right now we think our enforcement is where it should be,”said David Ready.

In Rancho Mirage, a spokesperson for the city said they don’t have any plans to phase out the city’s STVR program.

And for the City of Indio, council plans to review it. 

Cathedral City Council plans to vote tonight on plans for phasing out Short-term vacation rentals.

Palm Desert city council will consider a 45-day moratorium on new short-term vacation rental permits within all planned residential zoning districts and that meeting is scheduled for Thursday.