The process was so nice, they’re doing it twice—reopening the public discussion of vacation home rentals that Twentynine Palms pursued for 16 months in 2009 and 2010. Reporter Dan Stork says that the City Council talked about sculpture and archaeology, too…
As Interim Development Director Matt McCleary explained to the Twentynine Palms City Council, the issue of vacation home rentals was on its agenda so that the Council could decide how to approach it, not to make a yea/nay decision. McCleary also surveyed nearby treatment of VHRs, noting that rentals in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley operate without County sanction, and that Yucca Valley simply ignores such operations within its limits. McCleary sketched regulations in effect in La Quinta and Palm Springs, which license 2,100 VHRs between them. During public comment, speakers in favor of allowing short-term rentals in residential properties cited economic benefit to the city, and claimed that renters will tend to be responsible people with money to spend who would sooner seek lodging in another community than stay in a hotel. Speakers against VHRs, who were all hotel or motel operators, warned against septic load issues, the dangers of strangers in residential neighborhoods, and the intrusion of commercial operations into residential zones, and asked for a level playing field in the treatment of competing businesses. Council voted 4-1, Jay Corbin opposed, to have a joint Council/Planning Commission/community workshop meeting on April 29 to air the issue further.
Council tabled approval of installation of three Simi Daba sculptures—two at the SeniorCenter, one at Theatre 29—pending more details from staff. Council wants to: see site plans, hear whether Theatre 29 fundraising plans are dependent upon the placement of the sculpture, and learn whether Simi Daba would have objections to his sculptures being painted.
Finally, the council unanimously approved the movement of funds to support archaeological monitoring of the road construction project on National Park Drive.