Advisory groups are off and working on pair of issues facing city

Three dozen residents have been tasked with providing guidance around vacation rental rules and development of a homeless navigation center in the city.

A pair of citizens working groups tasked with helping guide the city as it tries to make forward progress on some sticky issues are now in place. The work for one is well underway.
 
The news: Members of both the Vacation Rental and Homeshare Workgroup and Resident Advisory Workgroup were selected earlier this summer. They are tasked with providing guidance around regulations that impact vacation rental owners and the development of a navigation center that will help people transition out of homelessness.

  • The vacation rental group held its first meeting on July 19. It met again on Aug. 9 and 16 and will hold its next meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30.
     
  • The navigation center advisory group held its first meeting last week and plans to meet every other month on the third Tuesday for the near future.

At issue: City leaders are pressing the vacation rental group to make recommendations on existing rules prior to October when they hope to consider changes to regulations on properties rented through Airbnb and other apps.

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  • Among recommendations officials might consider are caps on the total percentage or volume of short-term vacation rental permits and whether to limit their density in some or all of the 51 city-designated neighborhoods

Less pressing but equally important is guidance for the navigation center being stood up on 3.6 acres the city owns off McCarthy Road in northern Palm Springs.

  • The decision to locate the center in that part of the city proved controversial after neighbors in the area learned that the city was moving forward with purchasing the property without speaking with them first.
     
  • It is hoped that the working group will get ahead of and help ease concerns over loitering, drug use, and crime that some expressed during tense community meetings.

Behind the scenes: The city had mixed results in filling seats at the table of each workgroup. The vacation rental group saw 124 applicants, while the other group, which now has 25 members, initially had only 14 applicants.

  • Four vacation rental group members were chosen because the city identified them as critical stakeholders with opposing viewpoints.
  • The city sought to include as many members as possible from the Desert Highland Gateway Estates neighborhood on the navigation center group, but saw only one applicant from there initially.

There’s more: Find additional information and a meeting schedule for the vacation rental workgroup here, and turn here for more information on the navigation center and its workgroup.

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