Twentynine Palms, Ca.,- After hearing emotionally charged public testimony without the benefit of a Staff report, the 2 hour joint meeting workshop held last Tuesday on April 29, 2014, resulted in the 29 Palms Council members sending the proposed Vacation Home Rental consideration back to the Planning Commission for additional study beginning with a starting point of the previously rejected draft version dating back to 2009.
Councilman Joel Klink, who will be up for reelection this November chimed in with a 4-1 vote, Councilman Corbin dissenting, changing his position when he was Mayor Klink…who was against Vacation Home Rentals. This time around Klink sat with his arms crossed and said he personally enjoys hotel stays but asked, “What about families?” To avoid possible weekend party houses, he suggested the length of home vacation rental be specific for a minimum of 7 days with a maximum stay of 29 days on a tryout basis for one year.
The Planning Commissioners will receive a list from the Council of their concerns along with those brought up by the public at this workshop. Commissioner Bill Easter, boiled it down to a simple request of the Council…”We don’t need to know if you are for it or against Vacation Home Rentals this evening. All we want to know is whether or not you want us to review this in our future meetings.” Easter stated the Commissioners should also point out all the pros and cons that would not necessarily be evident in any proposed draft ordinance.
Councilmen Jim Harris and Jay Corbin were well prepared for this topic exhibiting their knowledge of the written Staff report provided prior to this workshop.
Councilman Harris was concerned the Vacation Home Rentals would compete with the Hotels and Motels and brought up public safety. His concern of a “Level Playing Field” also pertained to the selection process of homes seeking permits that all should have the same opportunity, whether it be 10 homes or 300 homes or in one designated commercial zone. Harris also corrected Mayor Minsk’s statement that he received a letter attached to a petition, when in fact, the letter was a separate item and the petition contained 145 signatures by 29 Palms residents against Vacation Home Rentals.
Harris indexed his agenda with colored tabs and referenced the San Bernardino County Ordinance with ease that specifically prohibits Vacation Home Rentals in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley which he read into the record. The SB County ordinance only permits Vacation Home Rentals in the mountain region of Big Bear. After the meeting, Harris shared the ordinance with Jack Briggs who had been touting the successful vacation home rentals in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley generating huge tax revenues for the County in his remarks at the lectern.
Councilman Corbin set the record straight when it was suggested previous councils left this item up in the air by confirming their final conclusion was “No” to these Vacation Home Rentals. Corbin addressed practical matters there is only one code enforcement officer on Staff and it is not as simple as collecting TOT bed taxes. He also saw potential problems in recovering costs of enforcing regulations but suggested a starting point would be the 2009 Draft Ordinance for Vacation Home Rentals.
As reported in my Opinion post, Council members Heiser and
Minsk MINTZ offered no concerns but waved the American Flag with their coordinated talking point remarks of Capitalism, Free Enterprise and Free Market competition. Story>link
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