Here’s Why Midcentury America’s Most Popular Resort Town Might Ban Short-Term Home Rentals

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By Dwell
Palm Springs thrives as a getaway, but lately an influx of people visiting through home-sharing services has some people concerned.

One idea, which will be put to a vote via ballot measure on June 5: Prohibit rentals of fewer than 28 days in certain residential areas. 

With similar short-term rental bans being debated in cities from Santa Monica to Asheville, we invited two Palm Springs locals on opposite sides to present their cases. 

Pro Ban

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  • The purpose of residential zones is to offer a place for people to live long-term. But in Palm Springs, a radical change has occurred. Our neighborhoods are being converted to commercial use, as "mini-hotels" take over single-family homes. The scale of this phenomenon is unprecedented. To date, there are close to 2,000 registered short-term rentals in Palm Springs, the highest per capita rate in a city of our size. In Palm Springs the typical profile of a short-term rental owner is not a mom and pop renting out an extra bedroom to make ends meet—the vast majority of short-term rentals are run as full-time commercial resorts, where the owner is absent. Even with perfect enforcement policing the behavior of tourists, short-term rentals are simply incompatible with residential neighborhoods. The rhythm of life for a resident will never be in tune with that of a short-term visitor.

-Robert Grimm, Campaign Manager, Palm Springs Neighbors 4 Neighborhoods

Support the ban? Take a virtual tour of The Parker Palm Springs (seen above), a retro-glam hotel twice refreshed by Jonathan Adler

Anti Ban  

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  • The ballot measure that seeks to prohibit the short-term rental of single-family residences in "R1"-type zoned neighborhoods is a de facto ban on all short-term rentals in Palm Springs, since the vast majority of permitted vacation rentals are in these areas. The ban would, by and large, eliminate this housing option for visitors. And the huge number of room nights lost for visitors would make it impossible for Palm Springs to host events and conventions of the size and scale that we currently enjoy. A ban on short-term rentals would have severe adverse fiscal and economic effects on the city. This is about a revitalized, lively, welcoming, and fun Palm Springs versus the alternative.

-Keith Crosley, Member, Vacation Rental Owners & Neighbors of Palm Springs

Against the ban? We go inside one of Donald Wexler’s iconic steel prefabs (similar to the one seen above), which is available to rent

  

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