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April 20, 2017

Community Update by City Manager
Charlie McClendon

New Short-term Vacation Rental and City Noise Ordinances Go into Effect on May 12th

After extensive input from the public as well as the Short-Term Vacation Rental Task Force, the City Council approved on April 12th two new ordinances relating to short-term vacation rentals and the citywide noise ordinance.  Both ordinances go into effect on May 12, 2017.  Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these new ordinances.

Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVR) Changes:

The new ordinance affects rental properties in Cathedral City that are rented for less than 30 days.  These rules do not affect “apartment buildings,” as defined, since apartments are prohibited from being rented as STVR. 

The new STVR rules consist of:

• Day-time and night-time occupancy limits based on the number of bedrooms in each unit

• The above limits can only be exceeded if the renter obtains a Special Use Permit from the City.

• Occupancy limits must be stated in all advertising of the STVR unit.

• All trash must be placed in proper containers.

• Unless on trash pick-up day, all trash containers must out of view from the street.

• Renters shall park only in the garage, driveway, and/or carport.

• Daytime guests of the renters may park in the street directly in front of the rental property.

• STVR Rules must be posted in a conspicuous place within the rental unit.

• STVR Rules must be part of the guest vacation rental agreement signed by the renter.

• Renter and Rental Property Owner must abide by the City’s Noise Ordinance.

• No renter may use a sound device (radios, sound systems, etc…) outside of the dwelling unit between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.

• Removal of fences between units to create a “compound” effect is prohibited.

STVR Complaints, Fines:

• Neighbors may complain about a STVR violation by calling the Vacation Rental Hotline at (760) 833-1800, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.  (False complaints are subject to graduated fines of $100/$250/$500 per incident).

• Rental owners, the owner’s authorized agent or representative and/or the owner’s designated local contact person shall be available at all times during the vacation rental period and must respond to a complaint within 45 minutes or be subjected to all administrative, legal, and equitable remedies available to the city.  Failure to respond to a complaint may include a $500 fine for each occurrence. A STVR permit may be suspended for repeat violations.

STVR Permits, Fees:

• Before renting a STVR, the owner of the property must obtain a STVR permit from the City and pay an annual fee of $415.  The permit must be renewed annually.

• Failure to obtain a STVR permit from the City after July 12, 2017, the owner of the dwelling unit may be subjected to a fine up to $5,000 for each non-permitted rental occurrence.

• If the STVR unit is located within the boundaries of a homeowners association or community association and/or subjected to CC&Rs, then the owner must obtain a letter authorizing the STVR from the association, or if no association, prove that the CC&Rs allow STVR.

• A STVR permit may be denied by the City if unresolved City code compliance cases, outstanding City fines or fees, or City liens have been placed on the property.

• All STVR units shall be inspected initially and annually by the City.

• Neighbors within 100 feet of a STVR unit must be notified annually by the City as the owner’s expense.

Download the Good Neighbor Brochure for Vacation Guests

Noise Ordinance Changes:

In order to better identify the occurrence of a noise violation, the City Council approved new rules for the City’s noise ordinance.  These rules go into effect on May 12, 2017:

• Daytime and night hours are standardized throughout such that night hours are always 10:00 pm to 7:00 am.

• In most cases references to different sources of noise are eliminated in favor of decibel readings that apply regardless of the source of the noise.

• Decibel levels are established as the indicator that a violation has occurred according to the following table:

 

• Exterior noise shall be measured at the lot line of the lot where the noise or sounds are emanating.  If the measurement location is on the boundary between two different noise zones, the lower noise level standard applicable to the noise zone shall apply.  Interior noise shall be measured at least four feet from the wall, floor, or ceiling nearest to the noise source and with all windows, doors and other openings to the exterior closed. 

• Noises caused by motor vehicles or trains are exempt from these standards.

• This section shall not apply to any noise emanating from a city operated or sponsored special event, or other events held on public property where the operator of the event has obtained all necessary permits and approvals for the event.

Penalties for Noise Violation:

• Issuance of an infraction citation;

• Issuance of a notice of public nuisance;

• Imposition of criminal and civil penalties; and

• Confiscation and impoundment as evidence, the components that are amplifying or transmitting the prohibited noise.

Although these new ordinances may appear lengthy, they were developed so that everyone has an understanding of what is expected to be a good neighbor.  Most of these items reflect commonsense approaches to prevent complaints and feuding neighbors, preserve the integrity of our neighborhoods, and allow each of us to enjoy our properties during the day and night time hours.  In conclusion, the City has also developed a Good Neighbor Brochure for Vacation Guests to provide tourists renting property in residential neighborhoods on what Cathedral City expects in order to be a “Good Neighbor.”

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Upcoming Events

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Walking For Water 6K

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Close access to clean water helps reduce poverty, it’s as simple as that. Healthy adults and children are better able to work and can spend more time in school, instead of getting water from far away. You can help!

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