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Board declares moratorium on short-term rentals in Idyllwild, Temecula Valley

City News Service

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors imposed a temporary moratorium on the issuance of new short-term rental permits in the unincorporated Temecula Valley, as well as the mountain communities around Idyllwild Tuesday, Sept. 13, because of a flood of applications that has resulted in a significant propagation of rentals in a short span.

The 5-0 vote approving the urgency ordinance establishing the moratorium came immediately after the board tentatively approved a set of revisions to the county’s Short-Term Rental Ordinance, No. 927.

Transportation & Land Management Agency officials told the board that applications for rental certificates had surged over the last 13 months, leading to an average of 54 new certificates being issued every month, a disproportionately high number of them going to property owners in the areas in question.

“If the increase continues, adverse impacts that have the potential to endanger the health and safety of residents, guests and the very environment and resources that attract visitors to the county will increase,” according to a TLMA statement posted to the board’s agenda.

Officials said that a high concentration of short-term rental properties could prove problematic in the Temecula Valley Wine Country, undermining “the character of the community.”

Similar concerns were raised regarding the Idyllwild area, including Pine Cove and Mountain Center, where 12% of the 1,100 licensed short-term rentals in unincorporated communities are now located, according to TLMA.

“The greater the number of short-term rentals in a neighborhood, the greater the potential impacts on the neighborhood,” the agency said. “The infrastructure in this area remains rural in nature, exhibiting narrow, steep roads and a lack of shoulder parking.”

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Chair Jeff Hewitt pointed out that the temporary moratorium was mainly necessary while TLMA works out the kinks in a series of revisions to the regulatory apparatus that applies to short-term rentals.

That process is expected to wrap up in the next month, when the board will take a final vote on the proposed changes, which focus on occupancy limitations, noise controls, parking designations and other health and safety provisions for short-term rental properties.

Short-term rentals are defined as residential dwellings leased for a maximum of 30 days and a minimum of two days and one night.

The moratorium takes effect immediately and is slated to expire Friday, Oct. 28, though the board has the discretion to extend it.


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