How should Temecula regulate short-term rentals? City wants to hear from you

Council this week will be considering a contract with a firm to conduct a series of public workshops.

A Palm Desert-based consultant may be conducting workshops later this year to get feedback from Temecula residents on short-term rentals, a catchall term that includes AirBNB/VRBO listings and “party houses.”

The feedback will be used by city officials to craft new policies that will help “protect residential neighborhoods from the unintended consequences of short-term rentals,” according to a staff report for the council, which will consider a $20,000 contract with the consultant on Tuesday night.

The council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center’s council chambers, 41000 Main St.

There are more than 150 properties within the city’s boundaries that are being marketed as short-term rentals, per an analysis by city staff. Right now, there is nothing in the city’s municipal code that allows the city to regulate the practice, which has bloomed in recent years due to the rise of apps and websites that facilitate rental agreements.

Other cities that have attempted to rein in the rentals have faced opposition from coalitions that have argued homeowners have the right to rent out space in their homes as they see fit and vacationers who chafe at fines and rules that seem overly punitive.

But there has been plenty of support for regulation as well, with residents who live near rental properties sharing stories of late-night parties, parking battles and trashed property.

The contract calls for five public workshops, a website, social media advertisements, development of a stakeholder list and summary presentation of the firm’s findings with both the Planning Commission and the City Council.

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