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Future of Palm Springs Vacation Rentals

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PALM SPRINGS, Ca. -

A group in Palm Springs is bringing voters the issue of how to enforce vacation rentals.

Local agents warn that the new rules could cause a collapse in the real estate market.

"It's going to put people out of work, and when you put people out of work, restaurant workers, hotel workers, all retail workers, it shuts doors down, and it will shrink the tourism industry," said Brady Sandahl with Citizens for a Better Palm Springs, a group battling the new ordinance.

Under the 2016 ordinance, only one vacation home per person and a limited number of rentals.

This applies to places being rented less than a month.

"Either sell the houses or make them into long term rental houses, there are options for them, so I don't think we are going to see this collapsed real estate industry that they're predicting, I think that's a scare tactic," said Palm Springs Councilman J.R. Roberts.

Some realtors say they're already seeing the exodus.

"Realtor friends of mine, one had 35 people put their houses up for sale. So there's 2,000 vacation rental homes, if half of those go on the market, that's a tremendous glut," said Marshall Gilbert, a radio talk show host and realtor.

So a group gathered around 3,600 signatures to give the matter to voters.

Now that opposition has turned those signatures here to the city clerk, they will have to be counted.

In the meantime, the ordinance made back in 2016 has been frozen, and we revert back to the original in 2014.

"When you are using a house exclusively for a vacation rental, it's essentially a motel in a neighborhood, and now we have 35% motels in neighborhoods," said Roberts.

The city is planning on an initiative of their own on the ballot.

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