Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Neighbors for Neighborhoods?

Neighbors for Neighborhoods (N4N) is a group of La Quinta residents formed in June 2020 to find a balanced solution to the problems created by short term vacation rentals (STVRs) in residential areas.  Our mission is to stop the commercial exploitation of our residential communities and restore homeowners’ rights, quality of life and safety for La Quinta residents. 

Why is there a Measure A ballot initiative?

Measure A is a citizen ballot initiative to permanently address the problems created by short term vacation rentals (STVRs) in La Quinta residential neighborhoods; something the City Council has failed to do.  The City Council has not adequately nor permanently addressed the long-term problems created by STVRs for their neighbors.  The non-hosted (unsupervised) nightly rentals are disruptive to the character and fabric of La Quinta residential neighborhoods.  

 

STVRs remove housing inventory preventing families from calling La Quinta home and excludes children from the opportunity to attend La Quinta schools and bolster school funding. La Quinta has 4 times the number of nightly rentals in its residential neighborhoods than other valley cities who decided to adopt STVR bans.  

 

Your fellow residents collected 3244 signatures of registered La Quinta voters to place Measure A on the November 8, 2022 ballot.  This is your opportunity to defend your residential neighborhoods, homeowners’ rights, quality of life and safety by voting YES on Measure A. 

What is Measure A?

Measure A is a commonsense solution to short term rental problems. Residents should reside in residential neighborhoods, and short term renters should vacation in any of the 11 tourist commercial (TC) areas designated for tourism.  Measure A requires non-hosted (no on-sight management) rentals in residential zoned communities to have a 30-day minimum rental period.  It will have no effect on hosted home-shares, bed & breakfast operations or STVRs in tourist commercial areas within the city.  To ensure a smooth transition, this initiative provides a phase-out period through December 31, 2024.  The City may continue to permit STVRs in the tourist commercial zones as demand will support.

Why Should I Vote Yes for Measure A?

Voting YES on A will protect La Quinta residential neighborhoods for families by;

 

  • Reassert your right to live in non-commercial, single-family residential neighborhoods protected by zoning.

  • Restore and significantly improve our available housing in residential zones for our working families.

  • Restore and return our residential neighborhood integrity, character, and livability.

  • Restrict STVRs to Tourist Commercial Zones within the City

 

Do STVRs undermine zoning laws?

Yes, zoning is the bedrock foundation of local government land use control. It helps to establish the character of a community in accordance with local desires and protects property values by separating uses that may be incompatible. It also provides certainty for those that are living in the community that they are protected from the intrusion of unsuitable uses. The potential for negative impacts of STVRs on a community’s neighborhoods is a primary consideration that led to zoning regulations in many cities that banned STVRs in residential areas. 

Measure A provides both opportunity and protection by designating TC zones for STVR businesses and zoned residential protections for residents and neighbors.

 

Do STVRs have a negative impact on La Quinta residential neighborhoods?

YES, who wants to live next to an STVR?  Short term renters do not participate in local activities, volunteer, or keep an eye on an elderly neighbor.  They do not engage in the sort of activities that strengthen a neighborhood and give it character.  Nightly renters and weekend partiers cause issues such as loud parties, blocked roadways, fire hazards, trash and parking congestion, creating long term problems and insecurities for neighbors and our residential neighborhoods. They change the fabric and character of neighborhoods. 

 

Do STVRs effect La Quinta schools?

YES, La Quinta schools have lost approximately 700 students due to residential homes being converted into STVRs. That’s millions of dollars of lost revenue to the school district and over 23 teachers plus support staff, aides, bus drivers and maintenance workers.

Will Measure A support the city and business owners?

YES, STVRs are not being banned.  La Quinta will be only one of four valley cities permitting STVRs.  This initiative will stimulate the development of already designated Tourist Commercial zones.  Two of these zones. The Signature and SilverRock will have permit capacity more than two times the number of STVRs currently operating in residential communities.

If Measure A does not pass, what will the impact be on La Quinta and our residential neighborhoods?

If Measure A fails, your homeowner rights and your neighborhood will remain unprotected.  The mayor and city council routinely justify permitted nightly rentals immersed throughout La Quinta’s residential neighborhoods as a business practice. They maintain La Quinta residents should forfeit their zoning protection in order to monetize residential housing. They could, at any time, begin permitting unlimited STVRs into residential neighborhoods meaning your new neighbor could be a short term rental.  More homes will be converted into short term rentals and monthly rents will go higher.  La Quinta will be one big tourist commercial zone with no residential zoning. That’s why we believe Measure A is critical to residents.

 

Does STVR TOT fund police, fire-fighters and first responders?  Without STVR revenue will the city have to cut to these vital services?

NO, Measure G funds police and capital improvements.  Measure G was a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2016 to increase sales tax by 1%, expressly to fund safety services and capital improvement projects.  Measure G continues to outperform forecasts with 38% going into reserve. The city has a healthy general fund comprised of diverse taxes including sales, tourism, and property taxes.

 

Don’t private property owners have a right to rent their homes as short term rentals?

NO, Courts have ruled property owners don’t have the right to alter the character of the neighborhood.  California Legislature ruled in the 2019 Housing Crisis Act, short term rentals are a commercial business.  This is about zoning not property rights.

 

Will Measure A support City code enforcement?

YES, City code enforcement will continue as part of the ongoing STVR program.  Fines for operating without a permit and for other violations in tourism zones will cover enforcement expense.

 

Can residential STVR Taxes be replaced without the city being forced to ask residents to vote on a tax increase?

YES, Hotels generate far more TOT than residential STVRs.  In fact, La Quinta has 11 areas in which STVRs can be built and operated.  With SilverRock/Talus available for new STVR development, the city can permit and generate as much STVRs tax as demand will support. Taxes cannot be increased by City Council, only a vote of the residents. 

Haven’t actions taken by the city already had positive effects? Complaints are down, fines are up, occupancy of STVRs has decreased and the situation is improving?

NO, Density of STVRs continues to be 4 times higher than other valley cities that approved a ban.  No city has found a correlation between citations and residents’ quality of life and safety.  Survey of LQ STVR neighbors shows 5 of top 9 STVR created problems cannot be cited by code enforcement.  If resident’s situation was improving, how were 50 signatures a day collected for the ballot initiative?  La Quinta residents were eager to sign the petition. The fact that STVRs require special rules and enforcement acknowledges the long-term problems STVRs created in residential neighborhoods.  There is no financial benefit to the residents who brought Measure A to a Vote, they are fighting to regain their quality of life, safety and defend their neighborhoods.  See Survey Results...

Can People be stopped from renting illegally?

YES, renting illegally in residential communities will be easy to locate, since no short-term rentals will be permitted. A significant fine for operating without a permit will discourage cheating.  Residents knowing, they will get their quality of life and safety back will be motivated to identify and report illegally operated nightly rentals.  Dishonest owners operating a rogue business in a residential neighborhood is not the LQ spirit.  They must go!!

Isn’t there already a permanent ban on STVRs in residential neighborhoods?

NO, the city council controls the issuance of new permits in residential areas. The aim of the  current ban is to diminish the number of STVRs in residential neighborhoods by attrition, not eliminate them. There is no commitment to reduce these to zero. Also, the current ban is not permanent.   This  Council or a future Council can vote to lift the ban and issue new permits at any time.  The Council’s directive to the ad hoc committee was to continue residential neighborhoods as tourist commercial zones.  A YES vote will protect homeowners’ rights, quality of life and safety.  When voters approve this initiative, it cannot be changed without going back to the voters to change it.  It’s permanent.  

Doesn’t Measure G pay for police and first responders?  

YES, Measure G (1% sales tax increase approved by voters in 2016) pays for police and first responders.  It is currently operating with a 38% surplus.  The city put more than $8M into reserves in 2021.  Four other valley cities and 68 cities across California which have banned STVRs are not experiencing any budget deficits or need for tax increases.  South Lake Tahoe which had a voter approved STVR initiative in 2018, has seen a 20% increase in tax revenues and unemployment is 1% below the state average.

 

 

Does this initiative support tourism?

YES, La Quinta currently has 11 Tourist Commercial Zones designated for nightly rentals.  This initiative will stimulate the development of these zones while protecting residential zones from nightly rentals, a balanced solution.  The increased number of STVRs will increase the tourism economy and generate more tax revenue.

 

 

In addition to defending La Quinta neighborhoods, and protecting residents’ quality of life and safety is there other benefits La Quinta will realize if Measure A is passed?

YES, up to 750 houses could be converted back to family homes from residential STVRs.  This would contribute up to $80M to the local economy through family median income, 700 children could be added to the school rolls increasing school budget by as much as $20M.  In addition to the Signature at PGA West being completed, and the land available for developing STVRs in the 11 Tourist Commercial Zones La Quinta’s future economy will be healthier than today.  

 

 

What can I do to protect my homeowner rights and neighborhood?

  • Vote YES on Measure A

  • Make a Donation

  • Volunteer to distribute pamphlets

  • Put out a yard sign

  • Work a phone bank

  • Reach out to your Network

 

To get more information and volunteer visit Take Action tab on this website.

 

Where are these 11 Tourist Commercial zones that will welcome new STVRs?


Click to see Map

When Measure A passes, can I still rent out my home, a casita, or a room in my house?

YES.  Hosted short-term rentals, where the owner lives on the property, can operate on an unlimited basis as long as the homeowner is present. This is termed “hosted” rental.

Who is funding Measure A and who is funding the opposition?

Measure A is comprised of residents who live in La Quinta and want to restrict short term vacation rentals to the commercial tourism zones located within the city. They want to take back their neighborhoods from commercial enterprise and their ongoing impacts.