REPLY: Community and connectedness are important to any neighborhood, but it seems to me to be a false argument to lay the blame for a lack of either at the door of homes that may be rented out, especially when, as one of the posts above informed us that:
“54% of single family homes in PS are not lived in full time and 74% of condos are not lived in full time”.
The poster found this “amazing” but many of us familiar with the history of Palm Springs don’t find that surprising at all.
Bear in mind that the homes now drawing people to visit Palm Springs in their tens of thousands world-wide, the “Alexanders” and the “Meiselmans” and the like were built as HOLIDAY HOMES, intended only to be occupied for the Winter season. These homes reflected the first expansion of housing in the City for the middle class, enabling professional Los Angelinos and others to grab a taste of what until then had been the lifestyle of the rich, the famous and those craving privacy. Even they hadn’t lived in their homes here full-time and it has only been in the very most recent years that our city has stayed open during the Summer months. Even five years ago, the closure of businesses in Palm Springs over the Summer was obvious to all and that wasn’t because fewer tourists came, but because – need I say this? – it gets so hot that many people who own homes here decamp elsewhere. Living in Palm Springs has traditionally been seasonal for many, even the majority, of homeowners, so please let’s start from a common understanding of our City, its history and how our residents have behaved for decades in examining the ideas of “community” and “connectedness”.
In addition, and as reflected by the large number of homeowners with VR permits and addresses in the Greater Los Angeles area, (30%), a large number of people who bought homes in Palm Springs did so to have weekend get-aways. They were second homes for them. They’d come for two days and be away for five, i.e. their homes were unoccupied for over 70% of the time.
To claim then that the short-term renting of less than 10% of the housing stock of Palm Springs is the reason why there is less connectedness and community in our neighborhoods is disingenuous at best and to now want to turn our neighborhoods into zones where renting is banned could actually exacerbate the problem rather than diminish it as by restricting homeowner’s rights to rent out their homes, the result may well be that homeowners may choose not to rent their homes out at all rather than switch to long-term renting and as a result those homes will remain unoccupied and empty for longer.
Enhancing connectedness and community in neighborhoods is one of the remits of our neighborhood organizations which could easily embrace and include rented homes, their owners and their guests if they chose to. The neighborhood organization for my area doesn’t but perhaps there are others which have, and those experiences could be shared here. I for one am all for increasing our sense of neighborhood community, despite the fact that many of my full-time resident neighbors enjoy their privacy and selectivity about who they spend their time with, so am happy for us to hear the “best practices” in other neighborhoods as to how this is done. Please do share ideas rather than falsely blame others for this issue.