What about that VLP survey we answered?
The results of the survey we sent you in February indicated four areas you deemed important: vacation rental problems, social events, street closures and repairs, and security. Here’s an update:
- Short term rentals (STRs)
Vacation rental certificates issued by the city have increased exponentially this year. The June-to-July increase jumped 10%, the biggest increase ever. In Vista Las Palmas, one out of six homes is a short term rental. The new total for the entire city is over 2000.
In July, the City Council agenda included a discussion of a temporary moratorium on single home conversions to STRs. The proposal was pulled off, due to a drafting technicality. It was never re-introduced at subsequent meetings. Mayor Rob Moon requested that the city hold a special meeting, at the convention center, so that citizens and industry representatives could voice their concerns.
- Social events
Our social committee arranged our first get-together in June at DISH restaurant. It enabled neighbors to meet each other in one of our city’s most innovative eateries. A second event is planned for September at the Arrive Hotel: a cutting edge addition to our neighborhood (yes, it borders one edge of Vista Las Palmas!) Their staff looks forward to hosting us. Stay tuned for details.
In May, we organized a VLP back-of-the-house tour of Desert Regional Hospital. The tour was informative and amazing. We saw the ER, trauma unit, coronary unit, and other areas. It ended with a heart-healthy catered luncheon hosted by Desert Regional Executive Director Caroline Caldwell, who answered our questions about future expansion plans.
Security issues are an ongoing problem in our city, and Vista Las Palmas is not immune from burglaries and other problems. While crime in our neighborhood is lower than the city as a whole, we must remain vigilant and keep an eye out for any questionable activities. If you see something or someone suspicious, call it in to the police.
Some neighbors requested that our board explore roving patrol options. We contacted Desert Patrol, which is part of the Desert Alarm Co. Their sales rep met with me twice, and our board once. We learned that Desert Patrol has a large presence in Old Las Palmas. We inquired if there was a way the company would consider a patrol schedule for VLP, perhaps at a group rate if we could get enough sign-ups. Their patrolmen utilize a hand held scanner that scans a barcode affixed to mail boxes, generating a weekly report on when a roving patrol car visits properties.
The company gave us a draft proposal, at various price points, based upon how many hours a client wanted the patrol. We stated that before we could share the proposal with the entire neighborhood, we would gladly pay our own way, as individuals, for a “trial month” to see how effective the service really was and what the report would look like.
The sales rep subsequently informed us that he would need to check with the owner before he could authorize a one month trial—even though we offered to pay for the service as individual homeowners (not using VLP funds). After a second call, the company was nonresponsive and we ceased any further discussions.
- Road repairs...just exactly what is “slurry seal” anyway?
If you have kept track of our neighborhood’s many road repairs, you have probably heard the S word, but maybe wondered what it meant. Slurry Seal is preventive road maintenance. Water-resistant slurry surface treatments (or seals) are thin overlays which seal minor pavement cracks and oxidized pavements, restore surface texture and skid resistance, correct raveling, and reduce noise. It will not, however, improve the ride quality of a street. Slurry seal is used to extend the life of cracked pavement, but it is not meant to eliminate pavement cracking as a more expensive asphalt overlay would.
Application of Slurry Seal is a two-step process. First, surface cracks are filled and surface patching is done. Several days after the crack sealing and surface patching, the Slurry Seal is applied. Streets will be closed to both parking and driving during the application although limited driving will be allowed in case of emergency. Normal driving and parking will be allowed after the Contractor removes the No Parking signs at the end of the working day. Slurry Seal requires only a few hours to dry before traffic can drive over it but it takes 24 to 48 hours to cure completely. During the first few weeks after the slurry seal application, residents should avoid excessive steering of their vehicle while it is standing still, or starting or stopping quickly as this may cause tire tracks and scuff marks on the surface.
For those of you who have spent this stultifying summer in other climes, we welcome you back to the ‘hood. For our new neighbors, welcome to the best neighborhood in Palm Springs.!