Indian Wells To Vote On Vacation Rentals

News Staff

Indian Wells, CA

It started in Palm Springs, moved east to Palm Desert and now people in Indian Wells are talking about how do deal with short term vacation rentals. On Thursday night, the Indian Wells city council will vote on the hot button issue. 

The city of Indian Wells has a few decisions to make. Should it allow its short term rental program to expire in July? Should "grandfathered" vacation rentals be allowed to continue to operate through December of 2019? Finally, should the cities many home owners associations have the final say within their own gated communities?

Story: Neighborhood Group Looks To Force A Vote On Vacation Rentals

"I have been opposed to short term rentals for many years," said Indian Wells resident Tina Godecke.

"I think it’s something that is vital to the desert and I think it bring in a lot of money and revenue and I think it’s a necessity," said Palm Desert resident Kevin Wahlstrom.

"I guess I would have to say I would be against them," said Indian Wells resident Shirley Kircher. 

Differing opinions is something the city will have to deal with when the issue goes before the city council on Thursday night. For people who do not live within an H.O.A., the issue is a little bit more complicated.

Story: Palm Springs Vacation Rental Fraud Investigation Leads To Three Arrests

"I don’t live in an H.O.A. I just live outside in the community though. And I feel like where is my protection. I don’t have an H.O.A., I don’t live behind club gates," said Godecke.

And for people like her, the concern over short term vacation rentals is the same as it is in virtually every other desert city.

"We’ve had trash in our backyard and floating around in the neighborhood, and noise and you have to call the police at three in morning," said Godecke.

"The sad thing is the few ruin it for all of them. Percentage wise it’s one or two percent that give everybody a bad name," said Wahlstrom.

Those who work in real estate say the city should consider the impact  that not allowing short term rentals could have on the Indian Wells housing market.

Story: Palm Desert Outlaws Vacation Rentals In Certain Areas

"It will slow down our market. It definitely will slow down our market as far as investor purchases. There are more homes here than there are year round residents. So what’s going to happen to that inventory," said realtor Sheri Wahlstrom.

This city of Indian Wells will also consider steeper fines for people breaking the rules. Currently, first time offenders are issued a warning. On Thursday night, the city council could scrap the warning and hit first time offenders with an automatic $2,500 dollar fine. If it happens again, second time offenders could be slapped with a $5,000 dollar fine and have their permit revoked.

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