Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Draft Ordinance for Vacation Rentals

The County of San Bernardino has drafted County Ordinance 72715 which will, if adopted, greatly impact owners and operators of vacation rental property. The ordinance calls for county inspections and a cessation of operation until inspections are complete. It would ban weddings, receptions, conferences, and other meetings. There are other items that may concern VR owners, including punitve measures for violations.

See the draft ordinance here:

The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce is working with local VR owners and operators on this issue and urges owner/operators to write to Phil Paule, who works for Third District Supervisor James Ramos, at:

See the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce page here:

As the MAC (Municipal Advisory Council) Delegate for Wonder Valley, I urge vacation rental owners and operators to:

I recognize that Vacation Rentals are an important part of the Wonder Valley economy, providing jobs, improving neighborhoods, providing shelter for our guests (as we have no hotels), and improving the profile of our area.

Once this ordinance is approved, with inspectors and administrators hired, procedures put in place, taxes collected, it will be very difficult to dial it back. NOW is the time to let the County know how you feel about this ordinance.

The County is organized, and so they can draft and approve an ordinance such as this. If the VR owners/operators want to have a voice YOU will need to get organized, go to a few meetings, provide me with a statement that I can deliver to the MAC, meet with your repesentatives, and make sure your voice is heard.

I am your MAC delegate. I represent YOU. If you want my help, let me know. I can help arrange a meeting for you, draft a response, send a letter to the MAC, request a meeting with representatives, and stand up for Wonder Valley.

A couple of months ago I requested a meeting with the County for Wonder Valley VR owners and was required to provide a list of VR owners and the amount of Transient Occupancy Tax that they had paid. I thought this was an unfair requirement, and still do, but relayed the information to the Wonder Valley Community. I regret doing this. There should be no requirements for meeting with our elected representatives, especially not lists of names and amounts of taxes paid. I wish I had followed my initial instincts and refused when I was sent the requirement. And just to be super clear, I never had a list, never created a list, never researched a list, and most certainly never gave anyone a list. I would never do that. Ever.

I am telling you this because I am on your side. I was appointed to this volunteer position to represent YOU, not the County. I want to see Wonder Valley thrive. I want our relationship to our County government to be a partnership that supports our efforts to make Wonder Valley a vibrant community.

That said, I hope you will organize and take some action to represent your industry to the County government. I am available to assist you.


Teresa Sitz