A few months ago, two citizen groups (“Protect Our Neighborhoods” and “Take Action
San Clemente”) walked San Clemente neighborhoods with a petition to ban short-term lodging units and sober living homes from residential zoned areas. The results were overwhelming, as 94 percent of those petitioned were adamantly against these businesses operating in our residential neighborhoods. The San Clemente City Council supported our city residents and passed ordinances to limit vacation rentals and sober living homes to areas of town that would be more compatible for them.
Now, the vacation rental owners and sober living operators are using other tactics to continue operating in our neighborhoods. A group called “The San Clemente Vacation Rental Alliance” has recently filed a lawsuit against the city of San Clemente and our City Council for passing these ordinances. The lawsuit states that the alliance “is an association composed of and supported by individuals devoted to preservation of the environment and Coastal Zone resources…” It also states “the group (among other things) was organized for the purpose of representing the interests of the public in assuring compliance with the state’s environmental and land use laws and the Coastal Act.” Believe it or not, that is their spin. They do not mention that they want to use our neighborhoods as doormats for their hotels and boarding houses. Many of their supporters do not even live in San Clemente.
This same group is also behind the push to re-district our City. You may have seen them at our local markets. The “Alliance” actually hired people to gather signatures to put redistricting on the November ballot. This group is well funded and well organized. Make no mistake about it, “The San Clemente Vacation Rental Alliance” does not represent the interests of San Clemente residents, but with special interest money they have a good chance of ousting the very councilmembers that have voted to keep our neighborhoods safe. They believe if they are successful in redistricting San Clemente they can get their people elected who will overturn the ordinances that have banned short-term lodging units and Sober Living Homes from our residential neighborhoods.
The San Clemente Vacation Rental Alliance is not a friend of “Our Spanish Village by the Sea.” They are profiteers that want to operate their commercial businesses in our residential neighborhoods, regardless of the effects they have on them. They continue to attack the four Council members who have voted to keep our neighborhoods safe and to preserve our way of life. Thanks again to Mayor Bob Baker, Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Ward, Councilman Chris Hamm and Councilman Tim Brown for standing up to this special interest group.
We believe residential neighborhoods are safe-havens for families to live and to raise children. We cannot remain silent while groups like this try to change the very character of the neighborhoods in which we reside. Help us spread the word about this special interest group and their plans for San Clemente. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.takeactionsanclemente.com.