News and Events
 
April 8th, 2021 By Marshall Smith
The Role of Short-Term Vacation Rentals in Idyllwild
02/20/21
Living on the Hill
By Marshall Smith
Idyllwild Association of Realtors

Carefully managed short term vacation rentals, registered as required with a county and/or municipality, having owner/operators who follow governing rules and regulations, can provide a service to visitors and a benefit to the community and its tax base. These rentals are often a first impression for visitors to a community - visitors who may later purchase homes of their own in the community.
Riverside County short-term rental regulations are designed to educate owner/operators about their responsibilities to their neighbors, and to ensure those neighbors have recourse when there are loud parties, late night noise, blocked parking access and other issues that disturb the reasonable lifestyle expectations of neighborhood residents.
Riverside County requires operators of short-term vacation rentals, generally fewer than 30 days, to pay Transit Occupancy Taxes (TOT) just as local owners of inns and lodges are required to do. These taxes help to fund necessary local services including county snow plowing of downtown and residential streets.
In Idyllwild, an unincorporated community, the county regulates short-term vacation rentals through Ordinance 927. A draft revision (927.1) toughens restrictions in important ways: Section 6 B in the draft states, “It is unlawful for any person to advertise, maintain, operate or use a Short-Term Rental in the unincorporated area of Riverside County without a Short-Term Rental Certificate, or in violation of the terms and conditions of the Certificate.” In short, any short-term rental in Idyllwild, not registered and in receipt of the required Certificate, is considered illegal. The draft language is clearer and stronger than in the existing ordinance.
Ordinance 927 states short-term rental owner/operators must also comply with Noise Ordinance 847 requiring quiet hours from 10 p.m. till 7 a.m.
In part, rules require that operators must prominently post in the rental their name and telephone number and/or the name and number for a local contact person; while the rental is occupied, either the owner/operator or local contact must be available 24/7 for the purpose of “responding within sixty minutes to complaints regarding the condition of the rental, its operation or guests’ conduct;” a guest designated as the “responsible person” in the rental agreement is required to execute a formal acknowledgment that they are legally responsible for the conduct of the guests; if the operator or local contact person does not respond within allowable time limits to complaints from neighbors, they are subject to all legal and administrative remedies available to the County for failure to respond; the owner/operator must also comply with Ordinance 495, Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance; operator must provide (Section 10 A) written notices to all dwellings located within 100 feet of the rental’s property line that a short term rental certificate was obtained for the property; and each day a violation is committed or permitted to continue shall be viewed as a separate offense for the sake of determining penalties.
Idyllwild residents can report violations by suspected short-term rental operators or guests at a Short-Term Rental hotline (800) 228-5051 or call the County Supervisor’s Office at (951) 955-1030.
More and more incorporated communities in the desert are pushing back and limiting or prohibiting vacation rentals in residential areas because of complaints from residents of noise and disruption.
Idyllwild, other than for a small downtown, is basically all residential. The question is, what role should VRBO short term rentals have in a town as small and quiet as Idyllwild?
Please contact Karen Doshier, IAOR President at karendoshier@gmail.com with column suggestions or comments.
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April 8th, 2021 By Marshall Smith
Finding the Balance in Welcoming and Educating Snow Play Visitors
Living on the Hill
By Marshall Smith
Idyllwild Association of Realtors

Beginning in 2017 after a heavy winter snow, Idyllwild was overwhelmed with visitors from communities below the mountain who came to play in the snow. These visitors did not know what was permissible and what was not. And there was no coordinated plan to educate them about their responsibilities and enforce parking and trespassing regulations.
They were unused to driving in snow and ice and did not understand the difference between the few public play areas in Idyllwild and private land.  As a result, they migrated into the yards of residents and parked their cars blocking residential driveways.
That winter, Riverside County Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington convened an interagency panel of representatives from his office and county law and transportation agencies to explore ways to deal with this massive visitor influx of snow play visitors. Later that panel was expanded to include a new Idyllwild nonprofit called the Idyllwild Snow Group, later “Idyllwild Snow.” The message and focus of the working group began to be on education and outreach – to help visitors understand what was permissible and what was not and to educate them on their responsibilities.
The good news is this effort over the last four years has made significant strides in promoting safety and respect for the mountain using a variety of educative efforts:
  • Idyllwild Snow produced handouts and flyers for distribution in downtown high volume pedestrian areas; a website and Facebook page to alert potential visitors regarding risks and enforcement– with a variety of pictures and messages such as “park on the road-get towed”; posts regarding proper disposal of trash and limited availability of bathrooms as well as fines for illegal parking ($400 to reclaim car if towed) and $1,000 tickets for littering. Said Idyllwild Snow founder Marsha Kennedy, “This is part of an effort to educate visitors and give them realistic expectations of what they’ll find on the Hill;”
  • County transportation installed signs on upper Fern Valley Road prohibiting weekend/holiday parking during the winter, December through April;
  • California Highway Patrol began regular policing and towing of illegally parked vehicles on Highway 243 and in residential neighborhoods;
  • Forest Service installed a permanent gate leading into Humber Park Trailhead to prevent snow parking in the Trailhead lot. In addition, road signs indicating the closure of Humber Park during snow emergencies were installed in several places including South Circle Drive and Fern Valley Road;
  • Porta potties are now available near the town Monument.
  • Idyllwild Snow and Idyllwild Rotary created a village map showing snow play areas and visitor tips. The map is in a UV resistant glass map case by the Monument;
  • Idyllwild Snow published numbers to call if there are problems with trespassing, property damage, illegal parking, traffic and road hazards (for trespassing, noise and property damage call Sheriff’s Department Hemet Station, (951) 776-1099; for illegally parked vehicles, traffic and road hazards, call CHP (760) 772-8900;
  • They also produced yard signs advising “no snow play or trespassing;”
Idyllwild Snow sites are among the best local resources for information: https://www.facebook.com/Idyllwild-Snow-1925765440973904/ and http://idyllwildsnow.com/index.html; there is also a membership page on Facebook for Idyllwild Snow for locals https://www.facebook.com/groups/1760287924292570.
During snow emergencies, snow play visitors often disregard traffic. The worry has always been of a sledding or pedestrian fatality.
Tragically that happened on March 14, 2021 in Pine Cove when a seven year-old boy died after sledding into a passing van, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Matt Napier. "This is an absolute tragedy and one that could have been prevented," said Napier.
There is still more to be done to prevent further tragedies.
Please forward comments and suggestions for articles about Living on the Hill to karendoshier@gmail.com.
 
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May 28th, 2019 By President Johnny Wilson
Realtor Talk~Idyllwild Town Crier Article, May 2019
   Hello from the Idyllwild Association of Realtors®! 
This month we would like to relay to the latest housing news and share a few fun facts. Let’s begin in Washington D.C. and work our way home.
   Federal level: The House voted Tuesday, May 14, to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30. The Senate must also approve the measure before May 31 — when the NFIP is set to expire — to avoid lapses in government-backed flood insurance policies. “Thanks to Realtors®, the Senate is well aware of the deadline for flood insurance,” [said] Austin Perez, senior policy representative at the National Association of Realtors®. The program provides flood insurance to more than 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities across the country.
   State level: First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit clears key committee. AB 1590 passed the Assembly Taxation and Revenue Committee last week. The California Association of Realtors sponsored AB 1590 (Rubio) to expand homeownership by helping first-time, low- and moderate-income homebuyers in disadvantaged communities with a targeted tax credit.
   Local level: IAOR will hold its annual “Open House Tour” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Aug. 3. This event is free and open to all. About 20 homes will be held open with food, refreshments, free merchandise and more. In other news, IAOR recently voted to donate $500 to the Idyllwild Scholarship Fund for our local kids (our future).
   Fun facts from recent survey: Nearly 1 in 4 millennial homebuyers want to buy a home before they’re married. Young adults are getting married later than previous generations. In 1980, the median age for men and women at their first marriage was 24.7 and 22, respectively. In 2018, the ages increased to 29.8 and 27.8, for men and women, respectively.
   But this delay in marriage isn’t deterring them from homeownership. Almost a quarter of millennials say they are postponing marriage until after they buy a home, according to LendingTree’s latest survey. Also, 27 percent of millennial buyers are postponing parenthood until they’ve achieved homeownership. Among homebuyers of all ages, nearly two in five are waiting to get a pet until after purchasing a house.   
  Thank you for reading. We hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. See you next month on “Realtor Talk.”
Johnny Wilson IAOR President
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May 7th, 2019 By IAOR President Johnny Wilson
Realtor Talk~ Idyllwild Town Crier Article, April 2019

Hello from the Idyllwild Association of Realtors.We hope you all had a great Easter weekend and are enjoying the beauty of springtime in the mountains — the colorful blooming flowers and fruit trees, the mesmerizing flow of the creeks, the diverse songs of the local birds.

There is much to appreciate living up here on the Hill, especially after a winter like the one that just passed.

Since the Valentine’s Day storm destroyed highways 74 and 243, its tremendous impact has been felt throughout our community on a multitude of levels — from parents to students, business owners, employees and anyone who relies on the health of our local economy. During challenging times like these, your Idyllwild Association of Realtors does not sit quietly on the sidelines. We get busy. We take action.

After our IAOR Board of Directors meeting last March, we decided to draft a "Letter of Concern" for all Association and community members to send to our government officials. We made this letter available to the public so that anyone who shared our concern could easily make their voices heard.

We figured the more letters received by Sen. Stone, Congressman Ruiz, Supervisor Washington and Gov. Newsom, the better our chances that they would understand the magnitude of the impact these road closures are having on our town and its residents.

Although it is impossible to see just how many people received, shared and sent our "Letter of Concern," we do have some statistics from our "Local Call to Action" campaign on Facebook: our post reached 4,039 FB members, with 1,144 people who clicked and read the post, and our letter was shared at least 64 times (we are not able to see how many times it was re-shared.)

One week later, Caltrans announced that it will be reopening the roads sooner than originally planned. Our government officials heard our concerns and figured out a way to make it happen.

We are not saying that IAOR is responsible for the reopening the roads, but I do believe that our letter and "Local Call to Action" campaign helped. Our main intent was to get the word out and encourage our association and community members to do the same.

We thank all of you who sent the letter and voiced their concerns. I strongly believe that we all had our part in helping to get these vital arteries reopened. United, we stand.
Johnny Wilson, IAOR President

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May 7th, 2019 By IAOR
2019 Annual Open House Tour!

Check back soon for our 2019 annual Open House Tour date!

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