PALM SPRINGS, Ca.
The battle over vacation rentals is heating up in Palm Springs, and now more fuel has been added to the fire.
For about a year, the short-term rental storm has been brewing.
"Residents are having our neighborhoods turned into hotels for short-term profit of realtors," said Mike Ziskind, with Protect Our Neighborhoods — a group that wants limits on vacation rentals.
Opponents say the city is pulling the welcome mat on visitors.
"Today is just a bunch of political shenanigans that the residents of Palm Springs do not need to experience, let’s keep our city doors open, let’s send the message that we’re pro tourism," said Brady Sandahl with Citizens for a Better Palm Springs — a group against the new city restrictions on vacation rentals.
In December, the city made an ordinance.
It limited one vacation permit per person, and other requirements involving safety.
A group opposed to that is collecting signatures to kill that new rule.
So the city is fighting back.
"If the industry initiative passes, killing our ordinance we will then be able to come in and put in a higher level of safety restrictions, and safeguards," said Palm Springs Councilman J.R. Roberts.
The short-term rentals would then have the same safety rules as hotels, if passed.
"We all want health and safety. The interesting thing about today is it’s not newsworthy, it’s just a political ploy, and it’s a very sad day for Palm Springs," said Ziskind.
The city subcommittee will now need to take their initiative to the city for approval.
Meanwhile, opponents of the ordinance need 2,200 signatures to qualify for the November ballot, but with even more they could have an election as early as June.