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July 30, 2020

Community Update

By Charlie McClendon - City Manager

Public Participation Guided the Discussion on Short-Term Vacation Rentals

During a special Council meeting held this week, the City Council gave direction to develop an ordinance for consideration that would phase-out Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVR) in Cathedral City.  Two exceptions are proposed, one that would allow STVRs to continue to be licensed in HOAs that explicitly allow them and a second exception that would allow home sharing, where the owner is present during a rental, to continue.  A formal vote on the proposed ordinance is scheduled to occur during the regular Council meeting on August 26, 2020.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide a little background on the lengthy process the Council and city staff have followed to reach this point and highlight the massive amount of participation by the public that helped shape the response to this issue.  The Council heard from many people from our community regarding their opinions on both sides of this highly contentious issue.

During their annual goal setting session in January 2019, the City Council developed a goal for staff to provide an update on short-term vacation rental (STVR) regulation and enforcement efforts.  Staff prepared an update, which was presented to Council at study session on June 12, 2019.  At that meeting Council heard from many residents of Cathedral City who expressed concern that existing STVR regulations are not working or are not being adequately enforced and that the proliferation of STVR homes is negatively affecting their quality of life.  As a result, Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance for consideration implementing a moratorium on the issuance of new STVR permits.  An interim urgency ordinance establishing a 45-day moratorium on new STVR permits was approved by Council on June 26, 2019.  The ordinance excluded from the moratorium HOA neighborhoods that expressly allow STVR permits and allowed the renewal of then existing STVR permits.  On July 24, 2019, prior to expiration of the initial 45-day moratorium, Council approved a new moratorium, with the same conditions and exclusions as the original, but with no expiration date.  The moratorium action allowed the completion of processing of all then pending applications for STVR licenses.

During this same period of time, the City Manager appointed an Ad-Hoc task force to study issues related to STVR homes in neighborhoods and develop a set of recommendations to address the problems identified with a target date for completion of their tasks of early 2020.  Members of the task force included residents of Cathedral City neighborhoods as well as owners and managers of STVRs.

It was decided early on in the task force’s deliberations to develop a survey to be mailed to residents who live close to a STVR and to hold two public meetings to receive comments from the community.  During the full task force meeting on September 9, the survey format and language were approved.  Dates and locations were also approved for the two public meetings, Tuesday October 1 at 6:00 pm at the library and Saturday October 19 at 10:00 am at City Hall.

Both meetings were well attended by persons both in support of and opposed to STVRs.  All comments made were noted and were shared with the task force members and Council members.  The survey was mailed out on October 1, 2019 with a return by date of October 15, 2019.  The results were released to the community on February 12, 2020 and were also shared with the task force and the City Council.

Over the past year, public comment was provided by people on this topic at virtually every Council meeting and the topic was discussed at most of the monthly City Hall at Your Corner meetings as well.  Hundreds of emails and phone calls from the community were also received.  All of the emails were shared with the Council and a summary of phone calls was also provided.  Study session updates on the topic were provided to Council in open, public meetings in October and March as well.

I indicated during the Council meeting this week that I don’t think I have ever seen a topic during my entire career in local government that generated as much public participation as I have seen related to STVRs over the past year.  Whether you are pleased with the decisions made by the Council or not on this topic, it is clear to me that the voices of the people of our community were heard and considered as Council made their decisions.

COVID-19 INFORMATION

COVID-19 Information
COVID-19-Business-Support

By the Numbers:

As of July 30, Cathedral City had a total of 1,314 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20 reported deaths.  Other Coachella Valley cities are reporting the following:

Coachella - 1,909 cases, 16 deaths

Desert Hot Springs - 707 cases, 11 deaths

Indian Wells - 34 cases, 1 death

Indio      2,571 cases, 56 deaths

La Quinta  - 578 cases. 15 deaths

Palm Desert - 773 cases, 40 deaths

Palm Springs - 734 cases, 25 deaths

Rancho Mirage - 185 cases, 14 deaths

Riverside County has reported 36,629 COVID-19 cases, 688 deaths, and 12,916 recovered cases. 

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NEWS

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Nineteen Daytime and Nighttime Cooling Centers Available in Riverside County

Nineteen Daytime and Nighttime Cooling Centers Available in Riverside County

Nineteen Daytime and Nighttime Cooling Centers Available in Riverside County   This week the summer heat will soar near 120 degrees.  The Riverside County Community Action Partnership has expanded the number of daytime and nighttime cooling centers to 19 throughout the county including 6 centers in the Coachella Valley.   Thanks to Councilmember Mark Carnevale, County of Riverside County, Coachella … Read more

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Riverside County to give out 10 million masks as part of ‘Masks are Medicine’ campaign

Riverside County to give out 10 million masks as part of ‘Masks are Medicine’ campaign

As part of a community action plan to reverse the trend in rising cases and stop the spread of COVID-19, Riverside County officials are giving away 10 million masks as part of a new “Masks are Medicine” campaign that includes a pledge campaign. “Because we do not have a vaccine or cure for COVID, masks are one of the safest … Read more

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City Council Provides Direction to Phase Out of Short-Term Vacation Rentals

City Council Provides Direction to Phase Out of Short-Term Vacation Rentals

After a year of public input, the creation of a short-term vacation rental task force, and much deliberation, the City Council asked staff to prepare the ordinance revisions necessary to phase out short-term vacation rentals (STVR) in residential neighborhoods over the next two years with two main exceptions – homes located in neighborhoods governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs a.k.a. Common … Read more

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Excessive Heat Warning Starting Thursday

Excessive Heat Warning Starting Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the Coachella Valley starting on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 11:00 am through at least Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm.  Temperatures are expected to range from 116 degrees to 122 degrees.  Excessive heat for those working or exercising outdoors can cause heat related illnesses, such as heat … Read more.

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Riverside County Health Officials Ask Residents to Call 9-1-1 When They Have Urgent Health Needs

Riverside County Health Officials Ask Residents to Call 9-1-1 When They Have Urgent Health Needs

Riverside County health officials are reminding residents to seek emergency care when they have potentially serious symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath or signs of a stroke, and not wait to call 9-1-1 out of fear of catching coronavirus.   Officials are concerned that residents are waiting too long to call 9-1-1 when they begin to have symptoms … Read more

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Extended One More Week - Connect Cathedral City Survey

Extended One More Week - Connect Cathedral City Survey

Have you filled out the Connect Cathedral City survey? If not, you still have a chance. Friday is the last day! Take an active part in improving the City! Help us better understanding the community’s needs and travel experiences by taking our survey. Find out more information about Connect CC.  If you’ve … Read more

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Hundreds Attend Agua Caliente Casino – Cathedral City’s Job Fair

Hundreds Attend Agua Caliente Casino – Cathedral City’s Job Fair

Starting before 8:00 a.m., hundreds of jobseekers lined up to offer their skills and interview for over 500 positions being created by the new Agua Caliente Casino – Cathedral City currently under construction at the corner of Highway 111 and Date Palm Drive.  Each of the applicants took the imposed COVID-19 safety precautions by wearing a face mask, social distancing … Read more

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Grants Up To $20,000 Available for Minority Owned Businesses through LISC

Grants Up To $20,000 Available for Minority Owned Businesses through LISC

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the country's largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize underserved communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents, is offering grants ranging between $5,000 and $20,000 to businesses affected by COVID-19.  Priority is given to small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color, women, and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically … Read more

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Bypass Road and New Website for Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge Project

Bypass Road and New Website for Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge Project

Crews were making great progress laying the asphalt for the temporary bypass road on Cathedral Canyon Drive at the Whitewater River.  The bypass road is needed to allow traffic to flow north and south as construction begins to build a new bridge over the Wash that floods when large amounts of rainfall happens in a short amount of time … Read more

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Escrow Finalized and Work to Begin Rehabilitating “Cathedral Palms Apartments”

Escrow Finalized and Work to Begin Rehabilitating “Cathedral Palms Apartments”

The City of Cathedral City was notified late last week that escrow was closed on the $7.7 million rehabilitation project for Cathedral Palms Apartments located near Landau Boulevard and Ramon Road.  This was final green light to begin the construction project later this year.  The senior apartments offer studio and two-bedroom units along with a community center, swimming  … Read more

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EVENTS

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Cathedral City Postpones Special Events Until Further Notice

Cathedral City Postpones Special Events Until Further Notice

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order (PDF) and Public Health Order (PDF) directed all Californians to stay home except to go to an essential job or to shop for essential needs.

The City of Cathedral City will suspend all special events until further notice.

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov