A poll measure to ban most short-term dwelling leases in La Quinta is on observe towards a slim defeat, although opponents of the proposal weren’t able to declare victory Tuesday.
Measure A, if accredited, would section out short-term trip leases by the top of 2024 in La Quinta, besides in a number of exempt areas. No on Measure A was main with 50.8%, or a 236-vote margin, on Monday evening, practically two weeks since polls closed within the Coachella Valley.
The measure, which went on the poll after a residents’ group gathered 1000’s of signatures, has generated vital debate on the function of trip leases within the metropolis, a well-liked tourism vacation spot. Quick-term trip rental homeowners contend it is their proper to hire out their properties, whereas some neighbors say these rental properties degrade close by residents’ high quality of life.
Outcomes reported by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters confirmed no votes on Measure A number one with 7,550 votes, in comparison with 7,314 sure votes for the ban, as of Monday evening.
The registrar’s workplace had roughly 8,000 ballots throughout Riverside County that also wanted to be processed as of Monday evening. It’s unclear what number of of these excellent ballots are from La Quinta, which has roughly 1.9% of the county’s registered voters.
Regardless of their lead, opponents of Measure A have been awaiting extra updates Tuesday, in accordance with spokesperson Eddy Estrada.
“We do not need to declare any victory till all of the ballots are counted, however we’re pleasantly stunned with the place the present outcomes are,” Estrada stated.
The proposed ban was forward in preliminary outcomes on Election Evening and in early updates from the registrar, however the no vote took the lead final week.
It is unclear what may come subsequent for the group of residents who oppose short-term leases. Don Shoffstall, a lead organizer with Neighbors for Neighborhoods, who collected greater than 3,000 signatures to place the query on the poll, didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Neighbors for Neighborhoods, or N4N, fashioned in 2020, because the COVID-19 pandemic elevated the recognition of short-term trip leases in La Quinta — resulting in an uptick in complaints from residents about noise, parking, trash and different points.
The La Quinta Metropolis Council responded by approving a moratorium on new short-term rental permits, ultimately agreeing to show that right into a everlasting ban on new permits, besides in particularly zoned areas. La Quinta has additionally raised allow charges and adopted stiffer fines and penalties for many who violate town’s rental guidelines.
Members of the council — which unanimously opposed Measure A — famous these steps have led to a drop in rental complaints filed with town, and stated they might proceed to be efficient with out a ban in place.
Forward of the election, council members additionally targeted on the potential monetary hits Measure A may trigger as a consequence of projected drops in native tax income and tourism. A latest city-commissioned report discovered La Quinta may lose greater than $100 million in annual customer spending by 2031 ought to the measure move, although proponents of Measure A say these projections have been overly dire.
Either side garnered some marketing campaign contributions, however the opponents of Measure A had vastly outraised the proponents, with roughly $193,000 in whole donations. The “Sure on A” marketing campaign committee has drawn roughly $26,000, largely from retired La Quinta residents.
The “No on Measure A” facet obtained a number of hefty donations, together with $10,000 from Expedia in October, in addition to a $40,000 contribution from an Airbnb marketing campaign committee on Nov. 1. Some contributions have additionally come from people, together with native owners and property managers.
La Quinta isn’t the primary metropolis within the valley to face such a poll query. In 2018, Palm Springs voters rejected a measure that may have banned trip leases within the metropolis’s residential neighborhoods, whereas final yr, voters in Cathedral Metropolis accredited an analogous measure phasing out town’s short-term rental permits.
If the measure fails as soon as all votes are counted, Estrada with the “No on A” marketing campaign says there’s nonetheless loads of work left to enhance La Quinta’s trip rental panorama, significantly persevering with to crack down on any unauthorized operators.
One other vote rely replace was anticipated Wednesday evening.
Tom Coulter covers the cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. Attain him at email@example.com or on Twitter @tomcoulter_.