After more than a year of public input and much deliberations, the City Council passed a second reading of an ordinance in early September to begin the phase out of Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) in Cathedral City neighborhoods by the end of 2022 with the exceptions of STVRs located in HOA communities that permit them and for home sharing STVRs. Home sharing is when the homeowner remains on property during a rental period while the STVR guest(s) rents out a room or casita in most cases. The ordinance was to go into effect on October 9, 2020.
STVR proponents who were opposed to the new ordinance began a petition campaign to place portions of the new ordinance up to a vote of the residents. The group called “Share Cathedral City” turned in to the City Clerk over 4,000 signed petitions calling for a referendum. The group needed just slightly over 2,400 petitions to qualify the referendum. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters must now verify the signatures and validate whether enough valid signatures were collected from registered voters in Cathedral City to qualify the referendum. The Registrar has 30 working days to complete the verifying process. If enough signatures were collected to qualify for a referendum, then the ordinance passed by the city council in September would be suspended until a vote of the electorate takes place sometime in 2021.
During this time of uncertainty of knowing if enough petitions were collected or not, the City Council last night passed an urgency ordinance to preserve the status quo by continuing a moratorium on all new STVR licenses, except in HOA communities allowing STVRs, which has been in effect for more than a year. Second, they also passed two resolutions to maintain previously approved fees and fines. The first resolution establishes the fees for STVR permits necessary to recover the cost of enhanced enforcement of STVR rentals in the city. And the second resolution will increase the fines for violating STVR rules and regulations. All three legislative items passed unanimously and go into effect immediately.
Please keep in mind this is a developing news item and updates will be provided from time to time.