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Everyone deserves to live and work in safe, friendly, and clean communities. Short term rentals threaten to disrupt that for Garden Grove residents.

Over the past few months, the city of Garden Grove has reported an increase in resident complaints about short term rentals in residential neighborhoods. As a neighboring city to popular tourist destinations such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, and other destinations, Garden Grove is an attractive location for tourists. Currently, renting a private house or room for less than 30 days is illegal in the city of Garden Grove, and it’s in the city’s best interest to maintain that status.

Short term rental (STR) corporations hide STR’s negative effects. In reality, the STR industry imposes its business costs onto residents, neighborhoods, and cities.

STRs consist of rented-out homes, apartments and other living spaces for short term stays. STR corporations that offer these services, like AirBnB, publicize people could “optimize one’s greatest asset,” by helping them rent out their homes to make additional money to pay off their mortgages or purchase necessary items.” However, while some individuals may benefit from some profit, the presence of STRs in a neighborhood introduces a host of problems by creating unregulated mini hotels.

Residents and city services receive the brunt responsibilities and burdens from STRs. Tax dollars are spent on additional trash, fire and police services; unknown guests are brought into neighborhoods; and, in some cases, guests host loud weekly nighttime activities that disrupt neighborhood peace and tranquility.

Furthermore, a study shows that most profit-making from STRs comes from leasing companies and single lessors that rent out their entire homes, as opposed to on-site hosts who rent shared spaces or a single rooms. One example in Garden Grove is Val’s Vacation Homes, which also has about 35 STR units throughout Orange County. These STRs are not about homesharing. Garden Grove could face a influx of companies or individuals, most of whom don’t live in the homes they’ll rent out in, that seek to turn Garden Grove neighborhoods into miniature hotel districts. Garden Grove needs to preserve neighborhood quality and safety by keeping zoned residential areas as places where people can live peacefully.

In the city council meeting on December 12, 2017, many residents and councilmembers spoke against STRs. Residents’ common sentiments were that STRs are very difficult to live next to, and when people purchase homes they expect to live in a private single-family neighborhood not a public and commercial neighborhood. In fact, four councilmembers- Stephanie Klopfenstein, John O’Neil, Phat Bui, and Kris Beard- expressed some support for a continuation of Garden Grove’s STR ban. STRs don’t benefit neighborhoods and its residents.

Ultimately, STRs disrupt neighborhood stability, and safety. It is the city’s duty to act in the best interests of its residents. The city must do everything it can to preserve, protect, and enhance the quality of life for their residents by keeping its neighborhoods free of STRs.

Karen Romero Estrada

Karen Romero Estrada was born and currently resides in Anaheim. As OCCORD‘s research and policy analyst, she provides research and policy development for OCCORD’s projects and organizing efforts. She received her bachelor’s in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College, was formerly an environmental equity policy associate with the Greenlining Institute, and a fellow for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

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