Residents, businesses oppose ban on Palm Springs vacation rentals
Poll shows ban is unpopular with the voters
PALM SPRINGS, CALIF. — A diverse coalition of Palm Springs residents, homeowners, business owners and tourism leaders has begun organizing in opposition to a voter initiative that would ban vacation rentals in most of Palm Springs. The “We Love Palm Springs” campaign is calling on the Palm Springs City Council to place the initiative on the ballot for voters to decide.
“There is a minority of people who want to ban vacation rentals in Palm Springs, and they were able to force this issue onto the City Council agenda again after it was already decided last year,” said Bruce Hoban, a participant in We Love Palm Springs. “We hope this City Council will recognize how dangerous it would be to ban a significant portion of tourist accommodations.”
According to a poll recently conducted by We Love Palm Springs, a strong majority of Palm Springs voters say vacation rentals are good for Palm Springs and more than half say they want more tourists to visit Palm Springs.
When asked about whether they support this ballot measure, 55% said they would vote “NO”.
The City of Palm Springs already has some of the most stringent short-term rental regulations in the U.S., with more than 100 rules and requirements for short-term rental hosts. A petition circulated last fall garnered enough signatures to repeal those strict regulations and replace them with a complete ban on vacation rentals in any single-family home in Palm Springs. While allowing multi-unit condominiums, there are less than a handful of complexes that allow short-term rentals, In response to the petition, the City Council must decide tonight whether to adopt the new short-term rental ban immediately, or to place it on the ballot for voters to decide. The “We Love Palm Springs” group argues the issue needs to go before voters.
“ I feel confident that most voters recognize how valuable tourism is to our community, and they understand that well-supervised vacation rentals are part of what makes Palm Springs such a vibrant and special destination,” said Palm Springs resident Shari Wortman. “We think most voters will realize how damaging this ban would be for Palm Springs.”
According to a study commissioned by the City of Palm Springs, banning vacation rentals would cost the city nearly $13 million in tax revenues annually. The study estimated a cumulative impact of $2.2 billion in total business sales losses over ten years in Palm Springs.
1 This survey was conducted by David Binder Research. Findings are based on 300 telephone interviews conducted from January 30 th through February 6 th , 2018 using cell phones and landlines. The survey was conducted among likely voters in Palm Springs with working phone numbers. The survey has a ±5.7% margin of error.