A Special Election on Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR) regulations was held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 to determine the outcome of Ordinance 842 that was unanimously passed by the city council in September 2020. The “Yes on Measure B” would uphold Ordinance 842, the City’s adopted Short-Term Vacation Rental regulations and restrictions, which were developed after a year and a half of community engagement and feedback to address identified resident priorities including:
- Improving neighborhood safety
- Reducing criminal activity associated with short-term vacation rentals
- Reducing noise impacts of short-term vacation rentals
- Preserving neighborhood character
With 100% of the precincts and the initial mail-in ballots counted, Yes on Measure B leads in the election poll with 4,465 votes (64%) and the No on Measure B trails with 2,457 votes (36%). More votes are expected to be added to the totals as mail-in ballots that were postmarked by March 2, 2021 can still be counted if they are received by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters by Friday, March 5, 2021.
If Yes on Measure B continues its lead and is certified by the Registrar, then Ordinance 842 will immediately go back into effect in Cathedral City. Some of the highlights of Ordinance 842 include:
Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) in residential neighborhoods will be phased out in early 2023 with two main exceptions:
- Homes located in neighborhoods governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs a.k.a. Common Interest Developments) that permit such use and;
- Home sharing vacation rentals. Home sharing means that the home is the owner’s primary or principal residence and the owner rents out a portion of the property. Rules include that the owner may only have one primary or principal residence and the owner of the home is onsite during the rental period. Typically, home sharing is where the owner rents out a room or casita on their property.
This election seems to confirm that voters agree with the city council on the need to phase out STVRs in order to restore the quality of life back into residential neighborhoods and that no amount of enforcement can adequately address the complaints from neighbors faced with unruly STVR renters.
Additional highlights of the ordinance include the following:
- When a property that holds an STVR permit is sold, the owner must notify the city, cancel the STVR permit and stop advertising within 7 days. The new owner will have to apply for a new STVR permit.
- The minimum duration of an STVR shall be 4 days and 3 nights.
- An occupancy limit of 2 overnight guests per bedroom is established up to a maximum of 10 total guests.
- Requires the responsible person of the guest(s) to sign the “Guest Agreement Acknowledgement” form provided by the city acknowledging all rules and regulations.
- Neighboring properties within 300 feet of an STVR shall be notified of the suspension or revocation of an STVR permit and any appeal hearing.
- Guest check-ins must be done in person or via video technology.
- Outdoor amenities such as pools and spas must be closed between the hours of 10 pm and 8:00 am.
- Four violations at the same STVR property within a 12-month period will cause the suspension of the permit for a period of time determined by the city.