Local News

County: State-mandated study finds unincorporated areas affected by STRs

Yesterday morning in San Bernardino, County Supervisors held an extended public hearing and then approved a $9.8 billion county budget.

In an afternoon session, the board took up the issue of local housing and short-term vacation rentals.

County Supervisors heard the results of a state-mandated study of housing in the unincorporated communities. The study showed what many here already know: that Joshua Tree – where a third of the homes are occupied by short-term rentals – is disproportionately affected by those rentals compared to other parts of the county.

The study is a condition of approval of the Housing Element of the general plan. Although charged with easing the scarcity of affordable housing here, Land Use Services does not recommend imposing any limits on STRs but instead is advising the board to incentivize affordable housing with a number of options such as introducing a short-term rental “buy out” program, developing new income-restricted housing, promoting the use of more manufactured homes and accessory dwelling units, and enhancing ownership and rental assistance initiatives.

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