By Karen Loeffler, San Clemente
Councilmembers are punting the Vacation Rental By Owner ball down the field yet another time, kicking it back and forth to the planning commission even after residents took the time to express their concerns based on real events, only to be ignored. One would think that safety and property values of our community would take priority over adding a few more pennies into the TOT fund. However, profit is trumping wisdom, and the question of safety has yet to be addressed. Megan’s Law would be of no value when a rental pops up next door and numerous unknown renters move in and out of your neighborhood over a period of 24 to 48 hours. How do families know who is really staying the weekend in their peaceful neighborhood? What about checks and balances? Enforcement? There is no budget for enforcement; this department doesn’t exist. The renters disappear, the homeowner is unreachable and the house is being readied for the next group. Will those same city council members who support destroying the fabric of a neighborhood be willing to take full responsibility and liability in case something goes terribly wrong? Our council seems to be trading quality of life for the mighty TOT tax—all that’s missing now is the flashing neon vacancy sign, coming to your neighborhood really soon.
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