Palm Springs moved closer to forbidding short-term vacation rentals in apartment buildings of two or more units following the approval of an ordinance proposing eliminating all such short-term vacation rentals from the city by 2019.
The city council voted 4-0 Wednesday night — Councilman Chris Mills was absent — in favor of the ordinance prohibiting the conversion of apartments into short- term rentals.
Those who were issued vacation rental certificates before April 15 would be allowed to continue operating as a short-term vacation rental until Jan.1, 2019, following amendments made tonight giving those operating short-term rentals extra time to make the transition of converting those properties into hotels or apartments.
City officials say the booming short-term rental market in Palm Springs has had a deleterious effect on affordable housing availability in the city.
Councilmen Geoff Kors and J.R. Roberts, who sit on the council’s vacation rental subcommittee, said the city has experienced a dearth of available housing that will keep prospective residents out in the city.
Kors said the ordinance was drafted “to help maintain what affordable housing we have,” while Roberts called the effect on housing affordability is “a big negative for Palm Springs.”
Roberts noted that a large portion of the city’s staff cannot afford to live in the city. A city staff report states that 22 percent of city employees live in Palm Springs.
Roberts said the short-term rental market was not a problem initially, but left the available apartment stock dwindling as short-term rentals went on the rise.
“It’s having an enormous effect on who can buy here, who can rent here or more importantly, who can’t buy here and who can’t rent here,” Roberts said.
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