COUNTY DRAFTING ORDINANCE TO REGULATE VACATION HOME RENTALS

Short term or vacation rentals of private homes to out-of-towners has long been practiced by many local property owners looking for extra income. In the Morongo Basin’s unincorporated areas, the tradition has gone on unfettered, free from county oversight, permit fees, or regulations of any kind. All of that may be about to change. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more on what’s afoot…

Since 2007, property owners in the unincorporated mountain region have been subject to a vacation rental ordinance which requires a permit, an application fee approaching $700, and adherence to a broad set of standards. Then last month, County Land Use Services began circulating a draft update to that ordinance. The draft update adds more specific regulations that address occupancy standards, conditions of operation, enforcement, and suspension and revocation of permits—everything from number of parking spaces required based on occupancy, to the speed at which a property owner must respond to noise complaints from neighbors. And while the draft ordinance indicates it is for use in the mountain region, it also states that it “may be expanded in the future to include other areas of the unincorporated County, such as the Community of Joshua Tree.”

The Complete Draft Ordinance

Vacation Home Rentals Draft Ordinance January 2017

LAND USE SERVICES DEPARTMENT PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT

RELAY FOR LIFE CALLED A SUCCESS BY ORGANIZERS

Organizers are calling the 2017 Relay for Life Morongo Basin, held at Yucca Valley High School Saturday, a success. The event leader, Cathy Inscore, said, “On behalf of the Relay for Life Morongo Basin, I would like to thank everyone who worked so diligently. Even though it was only a 12-hour event, the many months, hours, and hard work to prepare is not seen by the average onlooker. It took many volunteers to make this event a success.” Inscore said the grand total Relay for Life Morongo Basin raised was $41,262.81. While their goal is $50,000, she said, fundraising is not over until August 31 and they still have time to make or exceed their goal.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS: CONTRACTS, A TRUCK, AND SALES TAX OVERSIGHT

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the agenda ranges from service contracts to a new truck to sales tax oversight…
The consent agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council includes many requests for proposals, for street sweeping to maintenance contracts for streets, parks, traffic lights, and highway medians. Also on the consent agenda, the council will be asked to approve the purchase of a new Chevy Suburban 4-wheel drive vehicle. On the action agenda, the council will appoint seven members to the oversight commission for the sales tax revenue. The council will also be asked to award a $30,000 contract for the completion of a community livability survey report. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

YUCCA VALLEY FELON FOUND WITH STOLEN SHOTGUN

A Yucca Valley convicted felon was arrested early Saturday morning, accused of being in possession of a stolen shotgun. a Sheriff’s report said, deputies were called to the 1300 block of Inca Trail in Yucca Valley about 4:45 a.m. Saturday by a juvenile who was trying to leave a home, but was being blocked by a man later identified as Ronald Marcus, 52. When the deputy arrived, the deputy checked out the residence and in one of the bedrooms saw Marcus with a shotgun in plain view. A records check determined the shotgun had been reported stolen, and that Marcus was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms. Ronald Marcus was arrested on several warrants and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his total bail set at $100,000.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN FOUND WITH STOLEN OFF-ROAD VEHICLE

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Saturday, accused of riding a stolen off-road vehicle. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a blue Polaris off-road vehicle about 5:40 p.m. at Yucca Mesa Road and Drexel Road for driving an off-road vehicle on a roadway. The deputy determined during a records check that the Polaris had been reported stolen from Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The driver, Jaymie Kime, 40, did not have any documentation or registration for the Polaris. Jaymie Kime was arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

A REMINDER THAT PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS ARE DUE MONDAY

Have you paid your property tax payment yet? Edica Gonzalez says, time’s running out…
Monday, April 10 is the last day to pay the second installment of property taxes to avoid a 10 percent penalty. You can do it in any of several ways:
Online, at www.MyTaxCollector.com
Over the phone, by calling 909-387-8308
Either online or on the phone, you can pay from a checking or savings account, or by credit card. (There is a convenience fee for using a credit card, but not for using a bank account.)
If you choose to pay by mail, payments must be postmarked on or before April 10 to be considered on time.
Finally, you can pay in person, at 172 West Third Street, First Floor, in San Bernardino.

FALSE ID TO A DEPUTY RESULTS IN AN ARREST

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Friday after he gave a false name to a deputy. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a vehicle about 3:30 Friday afternoon for not having a valid registration. The driver gave the deputy his brother’s name, but during a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a wallet with identification for Steven Daly, 55. Steven Daly had multiple warrants for his arrest, and was arrested on his warrants and for false impersonation to a police officer, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his total bail set at $100,000.

MINOR INJURIES AFTER A PEDESTRIAN IS HIT IN YUCCA VALLEY

A pedestrian was slightly injured Friday when he was hit by a passing vehicle in Yucca Valley. According to a Sheriff’s report, the 32-year-old man was crossing Yucca Trail near Dumosa Avenue about 9 p.m. when the driver’s side mirror of a vehicle, driven westbound on Yucca Trail at about 30 miles per hour, struck the man. A driver following behind saw the car hit something, but didn’t immediately realize a pedestrian had been hit. The second driver didn’t notice the first driver had stopped and collided into the back of the vehicle. The Sheriff’s report notes that the area of the collision was dark and unlit. The pedestrian was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs for complaints of pain.

YUCCA VALLEY CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBERY NETS CIGARETTES AND  BEEF JERKY

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a robbery of a convenience store in Yucca Valley early Saturday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, a man entered the Circle K store in the 6900 block of Old Woman Springs Road about 4:30 a.m. with a plastic gun, went behind the counter and stole cigarettes and beef jerky. The man then left the store on foot. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

NATIVE PLANT WORKSHOP TOMORROW AT THE HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is offering two plant classes in April; the first one is tomorrow. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the details…
Learn about our local wild flowers and native plants in two upcoming events at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum. The first is a native plant workshop Wednesday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. This hands-on introduction to native wildflowers helps you identify our local flowers. The price is $20 or free for museum members. The second is the lecture, “Native Plants: Who Needs ’em?” Wednesday, April 12. This is part of the Second Wednesday Lecture Series. In this presentation, you will learn about the many desert dwellers that are supported by our native plants. The lecture begins at 5:30 for a $5 donation. Call the museum at 760-369-7212 or email them at museum@yucca-valley.org to reserve your space.

FREE FOOD GIVEAWAY IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

The Santa Fe Social Clubhouse will have a USDA Food Distribution tomorrow, Wednesday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. until they run out of food. The distribution will take place at the front of the building where there is sufficient parking. Please wear proper attire for the weather and remember there are no public restrooms available. The Social Club is at 56020 Santa Fe Trail, Suite M, in Yucca Valley. If you have any questions about the distribution please  call 760-369-4057 and ask for Susie or Phebe.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CEMETERY BOARD IN SPECIAL SESSION TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms Cemetery District will hold a special closed-session meeting tonight (Tuesday, April 4) to discuss one case of pending litigation. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in district offices at the cemetery on Encelia Road.

DESERT CHIC SOCIAL EVENT TO BENEFIT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Twentynine Palms’ Broadview Hacienda was the historic residence of pioneers Bill and Prudie Underhill. Situated on a high promontory, Broadview offers 360-degree views of the surrounding desert city. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation to a fundraiser that aims to preserve the city’s history …
The 2017 Desert Chic Social promises great fun, all in support of the Old Schoolhouse Museum. The Twentynine Palms Historical Society invites you to the Desert Chic Social on Saturday, April 8, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. You’ll experience the beauty of this historic Twentynine Palms home while you enjoy the camaraderie of old and new friends; have a nibble, and a cool drink, and bid on a silent auction treasure. Tickets are available for a minimum donation of $25 for Society members and $30 for non-members. Get yours at the door, or at the Old Schoolhouse Museum on National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. Broadview Hacienda is at 73452 Sunnyslope Drive in Twentynine Palms.

RETIRED TEACHERS MEET NEXT WEEK

The local chapter of the California Retired Teachers Association will meet Friday, April 14, at 10:00 a.m. at the Helen Gray Center on Whitefeather Road in Joshua Tree. Members will welcome Cheryl Erickson, who will speak about her recent trip to Uganda and the orphanage there with which she works. Lunch will be provided at a cost of $15 per person. Reservations are required. There is no cost to those who attend the meeting but choose not to order lunch, but seats do need to be reserved for those who attend but do not dine. Please call Gay Smith, at 760-369-2211, no later than Monday, April 10, if you plan to attend.