Palm Springs Vacation Rental Hotline Map Project

Updated July 8, 2018

 

This experimental data visualization project no longer shows locations of City of Palm Springs licensed vacation rentals, but continues to show weekly Vacation Rental Hotline calls. VR Hotline calls (large dots) are coded as follows: Large yellow dots indicate calls that did not result in a citation. Large red dots indicate calls that resulted in a citation or may result in a citation (pending citation). Large blue dots indicate a call on a house that was under suspension (such a call does not automatically mean that there is a citeable offense - click dots for call details).

 

Large purple dots indicate a call on an address that was reported to the Hotline, but was not in the database of registered vacation rentals—such addresses may or may not be unregistered vacation rentals, but the results of any VRCD investigation are currently unknown (see note at the end of this page about purple coding). Small purple dots indicate a call about an address that was reported to the Hotline, but has been determined by VRCD as not being operated as a vacation rental. Small red dots indicate calls about an address that has been cited for Failure to Register as a vacation rental and whose owner is ineligible to obtain a vacation rental permit as a result.

 

This map currently contains City of Palm Springs Vacation Rental Hotline summary data for April 16, 2017 to April 22, 2018 (a period of 372 days). April 16, 2017 is the date that "City first" response to Hotline calls and enforcement of Vacation Rental Ordinance Number 1918 began.

 

To view Hotline Call Summary data used in this map as a table, click here for a tabular view. For a version of this Hotline Call map and summary data with many more filtering, sorting and search options, click here for an advanced view in full Google Fusion Tables interface.

 

A limitation worth noting: For any given location in the map above, only one indicator will show at a time. Use the link in each dot's info window to display a table with details about all calls about that property. See also my links to ADVANCED HOTLINE MAPS, below.

 

A Quick Editorial Note: Measure C Puts Effective Vacation Rental Enforcement at Risk—How You can Help

I started the Palm Springs Vacation Rental Hotline Maps project more than a year ago with several goals: (1) to objectively understand complaints related to permitted vacation rentals, monitor trends, assess the impacts and report on the findings, (2) to hold enforcement officials accountable for timely response to complaints, accurate reporting, and fair, effective enforcement of our City's Vacation Rental Ordinance, (3) understand the extent of of issues related to unregistered short-term rentals and (4) provide a resource for all residents and stakeholders with an interest in this topic.

 

As a result of Ordinance 1918, City-first response and the better-staffed Vacation Rental Compliance Department, complaints have dropped, citation rates have risen, and the need for Police involvement in vacation rental enforcement calls has been reduced by 90% according to the VRCD. More than 55 unregistered rentals have been permanently barred or brought into compliance with our regulations. Rentals that are persistently cited for nuisances have had their been permits suspended. The most egregious offenders have had their permits permanently revoked.

 

My independent analysis confirms the VRCD's findings. All of this has been achieved without any cost incurred to taxpayers. This vastly improved enforcement is paid for entirely by vacation rental permit holders.

 

But now, a special interest group seeks to completely dismantle sensible, effective enforcement of our vacation rental regulations through the passage of Palm Springs Measure C—a ballot measure which attempts to ban the vast majority of short-term rentals in Palm Springs. But, as noted by our Mayor and City Council, bans do not work. Illegal rentals will appear or remain, but the City will be without resources to enforce the rules against them. The City Attorney's impartial analysis of Measure C confirms this, writing, "Measure C passage would leave the City unable to fund vacation rental enforcement at or near present levels, and result in the termination of the City's Vacation Rental Compliance Department as it currently operates."

 

If you share my support for sensible short-term rental regulations and effective enforcement, I encourage you to join me in opposing Measure C. You will find yourself in good company: Our Mayor and City Council, Police and Firefighters, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Palm Springs, Palm Springs Hospitality Association, PS Resorts, and many others oppose Measure C. Learn more about why we should Vote NO on Palm Springs Measure C at WeLovePalmSprings.org.

 

Now, back to the statistics...

 

Advanced Hotline Maps: A More Useful View?

 

Please use the alternate summary views linked below to see maps where calls are properly clustered by property address!

Alternate "Summary" views: I've created several additional views of this data. They currently represent the same data as powers the map above, but may not be updated as frequently (last updated May 2018 with data up to 4/22/18) as they require additional effort to create. The info window for these shows the location, total number of calls about the property, number of calls that resulted in a citation and the number of calls that did not result in a citation, and a link to see all call summaries associated with that address:

As mentioned above, the Hotline receives calls about properties that are not registered vacation rentals and I code these with purple dots:

 

Palm Springs Vacation Rental Hotline Calls: What Does this Map Show?

 

The types of citations mapped here are those that relate directly to nuisance or disturbance calls received by the Vacation Rental Hotline and these are the sorts of calls summarized in the Hotline reports that form the basis for this map.

 

A Summary of the Vacation Rental Hotline Data: 4/16/17 to 4/22/18:
Just Over 1 Year of Ordinance 1918 Enforcement

  • Number of actionable calls to the hotline:  1251
  • Days in period: 372 (53 weeks)
  • Average actionable calls/day: 3.4
  • Average actionable calls/day about registered vacation rentals: 2.9
  • Number of unique addresses (of all types) reported: 573
  • Number of registered vacation rentals that have been the subject of a call: approximately 453 (23.4% of registered VRs, which number 1939 as of March 2018. Note that the number of permitted homes has been steadily dropping for some time. Over the past year, the number of permits has declined from 2135 in April 2017 [high point] to 1939 [low point] today. All statistical calculations shown on this page are performed using the 1939 number even though this may inflate statistics somewhat.)

  • Number of actionable calls about registered VRs: 1072
  • Number of calls about addresses that are not registered vacation rentals: 179 (14.3% of actionable calls, 120 unique addresses)
  • Percentage of calls about registered VRs: 85.7%
  • Number of calls resulting in citation(s): 208 (16.6% of actionable calls)
  • Number of unique properties cited: 168 (8.7% of registered VRs)
  • Number of calls about VRs that did not find a citeable offense: 836 (66.8% of all actionable calls, 78% of calls about VRs)
  • Citation rate (calls with citation/total calls about VRs): 19.4% (208/1072)
  • Number of registered, non-suspended VRs that have been the subject of a call, but have received ZERO citations: 257 (13.2% of registered VRs - data as of 4/22/18)
  • Number of registered, non-suspended VRs with multiple calls, but ZERO citations: 88 (4.5% of registered VRs - data as of 4/22/18)
  • Calls about VRs when owner occupied:  85 (6.8% of actionable calls, 7.9% of calls about VRs, 51 unique addresses - 2.6% of registered VRs)

 

Call Volume Summary (data as of 4/22/18 - of  all 1251 actionable calls):

  • Addresses with 5 or more calls: 57 addresses (3 of which are not registered VRs; 2 of those have been cited for failure to register), 446 calls (35.7% of actionable call volume, 2.8% of registered VRs), 14.6% citation rate
  • Addresses with 3 to 4 calls:  81 addresses (7 of which are not registered VRs), 266 calls (21.3% of actionable call volume, 3.7% of registered VRs), 18.8% citation rate
  • Addresses with 2 calls: 104 addresses (18 of which are not registered VRs), 208 calls (116.6% of actionable call volume, 4.4% of registered VRs), 19.2% citation rate
  • Addresses with 1 call: 331 addresses (90 of which are not registered VRs), 331 calls (26.5% of actionable call volume, 12.4% of registered VRs), 16.0% citation rate

 

Hotline-sourced Citation Summary: Of 208 calls (of 1250 total calls about VRs) that resulted in a citation (average of 0.56 citations/day), citation types were:

  • 137 citations for outdoor music or music audible at adjacent property line. (121 registered VRs, 6.2% of VRs, 65.9% of citation producing calls, 11.0% of actionable calls, 12.8% of calls about VRs)
  • 32 citations for parking or vehicles overlimit. (30 registered VRs, 1.5% of VRs, 15.4% of citation producing calls, 2.6% of actionable calls, 3.0% of calls about VRs)
  • 14 citations for noise (non-musical). (13 registered VRs, 0.7% of VRs, 6.7% of citation producing calls, 1.1% of actionable calls, 1.3% of calls about VRs)
  • 13 citations for trash in public view. (12 registered VRs, 0.6% of VRs, 6.3% of citation producing calls, 1.0% of actionable calls, 1.2% of calls about VRs)
  • 11 calls that resulted in multiple citations. At present, all included a citation for music or noise.  (11 registered VRs, 0.6% of VRs, 5.3% of citation producing calls, 0.9% of actionable calls, 1.0% of calls about VRs)
  • 1 citation for weekend maintenance. (1 registered VRs, 0.1% of VRs, 0.5% of citation producing calls, 0.1% of actionable calls, 0.1% of calls about VRs)

 

New Series of Educational Articles about Short-term Rental Regulations in Palm Springs

 

If you're interested in learning more about the topic of vacation rentals in Palm Springs and the current rules and regulations surrounding them, please see my new series of educational articles on Medium. They start here:

 

 

Additionally, I occasionally contribute articles with more detailed analysis of this data to the Vacation Rental Owners and Neighbors of Palm Springs organization (www.vronps.org). I encourage all Palm Springs vacation rental permit holders (including holders of homeshare permits) to join this amazing organization which represents the vacation rental owners in the City of Palm Springs.

 

Vacation Rental Compliance Department Analysis of Hotline Call Data: January 2018

 

The City's Vacation Rental Compliance Department publishes its own analyses of Hotline call data. The first of these reports (found at this link) was published around August 25th, 2017 and covered the period 4/16/17 to 7/31/17. The second of these (and most recent one) was published on 1/24/18, covering the period from 8/1/17 to 12/31/17 (the last 5 months of 2017).

 

The VRCD's analyses are slightly less extensive than the analyses I've published previously, but the department (of course) has access to somewhat more accurate data than I am able to glean from the Hotline summary reports themselves. You can find their report online here:

 

 

The Palm Springs Vacation Rental Compliance Department reports very similar findings to my own during that period (8/1/17 to 12/31/17, a period of 153 days or 5 months). I believe the VRCD's report is yet more evidence that enforcement of the new vacation rental ordinance is working well and that the ordinance has had a positive effect on reducing nuisances caused by short-term rentals—which were already quite small—even further.  Highlights from that report include:

 

  • Number of calls and overall call volume: VCRD reports there were 307 "qualified" calls (this is VRCD's term for calls that are about registered Palm Springs vacation rentals where "the caller is reporting a nuisance at the property that is occurring in real time and the call requires a response from the VRCD" to respond at the property to investigate). They report an additional 164 calls identified as "VRCD to Investigate"—these are calls that may be about possible unregistered vacation rentals (short-term rentals being operated without a permit), residences with long-term occupants, or other properties that are not on the VRCD's list of registered short-term rentals. VRCD also reports 478 "non-qualified" calls—these are calls that are not "actionable" (as I term it) and include "general inquires by the public, on-call responder call-ins, duplicate calls, hang-ups and system test calls."

    Their total—949 calls—is very close to what my own database shows for the period (943 total call summaries imported from Hotline call logs). The VRCD's categorization of calls differs slightly from my own. My analysis divides calls into "actionable" (calls where responders were dispatched, then color-coded by type of property) and "non-actionable" calls (calls where responders were not dispatched for the various reasons described in the definition of "non-qualified" calls).

  • Calls about registered vacation rentals: VRCD reports 307 qualified calls about registered short-term rentals—or an average of  just 2.0 qualified calls per day. My own data shows 335 calls about registered short-term rentals in that period (an average of 2.2 calls per day).

    The small difference (28 calls) between the VRCD's count and my own may be explained by several factors: (1) the Hotline does receive a small number of calls which are from a property's owner or manager or that do not actually represent a "complaint" about the property in question—I don't code such calls in a special way that would allow me to easily filter them out of my own analysis, (2) there may be some calls which (from the summaries) appear actionable but VRCD has internally coded them a different way, and (3) the VRCD may not consider calls about homes that are on the suspension list to be in the "qualified" category, even though such calls are "actionable" (there are 12 such calls in the period). At any rate, these differences are small and do not imply there's any error in VRCD's own findings.

  • The number of calls decreased significantly from the prior year period: The VRCD reports that, compared to the same period in 2016, the number of qualified calls about registered vacation rentals decreased by 39%.
     
    This (I would say extremely) significant decrease (from 526 to 307 calls) happened even though the total number of registered vacation rentals increased slightly (from 1967 in Dec 2016 to 1986 in Dec 2017—an increase of slightly less than 1%).

    As my own database does not extend that far back, this is very useful and interesting information. It is unclear what might explain this substantial reduction in complaints. Possible contributing factors include: (1) the hosted check-in/"meet and greet" provisions of Ordinance 1918 may be better educating guests about noise and other issues, (2) more reliable and prompt City-first response may be reducing the need for repeated calls about the same incidents, (3) the number of spurious or knowingly false calls (which are a citeable offense under the new ordinance) may have fallen, (4) other provisions of Ordinance 1918—such as reduced guest occupancy and vehicle limits, and limits on the number of contracts per year—may have reduced nuisance situations.

    There are other possibilities as well, but—if the VRCD's analysis is correct— it would seem that fewer residents are feeling the need to contact the Vacation Rental Hotline, that neighbors are contacting the Hotline less frequently, and that registered short-term rentals are causing substantially fewer issues (both real and perceived) under the new ordinance.

  • Number of registered VRs that were the subject of Hotline calls: The VRCD does not indicate how many unique vacation rentals addresses were the subject of a call. However, my own data shows that these calls were about a maximum of 194 registered VRs (9.8% of registered VRs).

    As I've noted previously, the distribution of calls is both interesting and surprising. A small number of homes account for a large percentage of overall call volume. Here's how the 335 calls that I count in this particular period break out:
  • 10 homes with 5 or more calls representing 19.1% of overall call volume (64 calls)
  • 22 homes with 3-4 calls, representing 22.1% of call volume (74 calls)
  • 70 homes with 2 calls, representing 20.1% of call volume (70 calls)
  • 127 homes with 1 call, representing 37.9% of call volume (127 calls)

  • Number of citations and citation rate: Out of 307 qualified calls in the period, a total of 62 administrative citations were issued for nuisance or disturbance violations found by city staff in response to Hotline calls. That is, 20.2% of actionable calls resulted in a citation. Response to the vast majority of qualified calls—79.8%—found no citable offense.

    My own data shows 64 calls about registered VRs that resulted in a citation, out of 335 calls about registered VRs, or a citation rate of 19.1%. Not a huge difference, of course, and the slight difference in citation rate is likely due to the VRCD's superior visibility into which calls actually resulted in citations (this is usually, but not always obvious from call summaries themselves).

    My own takeaway from observing citation activity since Ordinance 1918 went into effect is that, overall, just 1 in 5 Hotline calls about registered VRs result in a citation. In 4 out of 5 calls, no citeable nuisance is found. While the citation rate may strike some as being rather low, this is simply the nature of disturbance and nuisance complaints—they are not always accurate, callers do not always reliably identify the source of a given nuisance, and many complaints are not about situations that actually represent a citeable offense.

    That being said, it should be noted that the citation rate in this period is higher than was found in the VRCD's previous report (where the citation rate was 17.5%). During that earlier period (4/16/17 to 7/31/17), various newer provisions of Ordinance 1918 (such as enforcement of vehicle limits) were still being rolled out and this partially explains why citation rates have risen and have now settled into a fairly steady 20% for most time periods that we might examine.

    This 20% "baseline" citation rate is helpful in identifying unusual situations: That is, if we analyze a subset of data and find a significantly higher or lower citation rate, something about the calls, response to calls, or the reported properties themselves may be unusual.

    For example, I've observed that homes that are frequently the subject of Hotline calls have a significantly lower than average citation rate. I've described several possible explanations for this in my article, "Is Enforcement of the Palm Springs Vacation Rental Ordinance “Working”? If so, How?"

    This observation holds true in the August-December 2017 timeframe as well. Grouped by number of calls about each registered vacation rental address, we see the following (again, this data is from my own analysis, not VRCD):

  • VRs with 5 or more calls: 64 total calls, 8 citation-producing calls: 12.5% citation rate
  • VRs with 3-4 calls: 74 total calls, 11 citation-producing calls: 14.9% citation rate
  • VRs with 2 calls: 70 total calls, 16 citation-producing calls: 22.9% citation rate
  • VRs with 1 call: 127 total calls, 29 citation-producing calls: 22.8% citation rate

  • Types and numbers of citations issued: Of the 62 issued citations issued to registered short-term rentals, the types of vacation rental citations issued based on Hotline calls break out as follows:
  • 68% Citations for outdoor amplified music/music audible at property line. (42 citations)
  • 19% Citations for parking/vehicles overlimit (12 citations)
  • 13% Citations for trash visible (8 citations)

    These findings are mostly consistent with my own analysis. Hotline summaries during the period imply that there may have been an additional citation for a manager's "failure to respond" in one case.

    These citations went to approximately 55 unique properties (2.8% of registered VRs). About 8 received more than 1 citation in the period; 3 were the subject of a single call that resulted in multiple citations—all of those multiple-citation cases included a citation for music.

    It is also interesting (and my own analysis confirms this) that during the period there were zero citations for noise of a non-musical nature. (As I've pointed out before, citations for "music" are the most common type of citation. In these cases, we do not know if the music was particularly loud or if it was barely audible. The vacation rental ordinance prohibits outdoor amplified music at any volume and that music from indoors not be audible at the adjacent property line.)

  • Owner-managed versus agency-managed properties: In its previous analysis, the VRCD found that calls (and citations) were fairly evenly split between owner-managed and agency-managed properties. However, in the latest report we see that 57% of qualified calls (175) were about agency-managed properties, while 43% (132) were about owner-managed properties.

    36 citations went to agency-managed properties, while just 26 went to owner-managed properties. (Both types of properties, however, had similar citation rates of right around 20%.)

    That agency-managed properties received a slightly higher percentage of complaints (and citations) is interesting because registered vacation rentals in Palm Springs are more or less evenly-split between the two categories. 48% are agency managed and 52% are owner-managed as of December 2017 data from the City of Palm Springs.

    It has sometimes been suggested that requiring short-term rentals to be managed by a "professional property management firm" might reduce nuisance complaints (or even actual nuisances). However, this would not seem to be true.

  • Calls about properties that are not registered vacation rentals: As can be easily seen from my own map and statistics, the Vacation Rental Hotline receives a significant number of calls about addresses that are not registered vacation rentals (about 14% of actionable calls are of this type, by my analysis). The VRCD's report has an appendix that analyzes these calls in more detail.

    Sometimes, callers report issues at addresses that are full-time residences or long-term rentals, sometimes the Vacation Rental Hotline is mistakenly used as a general purpose noise complaint line, and other times it is unclear if the property in question is being rented short-term without a permit.

    VRCD reports that they received 164 calls in the period that they marked as "VRCD to Investigate" as it was not clear whether the property might be operating as an unregistered short-term rental. They do not indicate, however, how many unique addresses were reported in these calls. We know that the number of properties these calls relate to is substantially lower than 164 as there are several properties of this type in my database that have been the subject of a large number of calls. And VRCD does note that some properties of this type received multiple calls.

    As a result of these investigations, VRCD found the following:
  • 67 calls (41%) were about properties (again, we don't know how many) confirmed not to be VRs (either registered or not).
  • 16 calls (10%) that had been marked for investigation were confirmed to be about registered VRs
  • 40 calls (24%) were about properties that have been confirmed to be operating without a permit. VRCD issued 14 "Failure to Register" citations as a result.
  • 41 calls (25%) were about properties that are still under investigation by VRCD.

    This information is unique to the VRCD and my own database offers only limited visibility into this issue:

    During the period, my analysis finds that there were 86 actionable calls about "not a vacation rental" properties and these calls related to 60 unique addresses. 27 of these are verified to me as not being unregistered rentals (and they include properties such as the "Robolights" house, which was the subject of several calls about noise or parking in December). I have verified that 4 of these addresses have been cited and fined for operating a vacation rental without a permit. The remaining 29 are still (to me) unknown status until VRCD chooses to tell me which addresses they have cited for "Failure to Register."

  • An additional data point included in the VRCD's report which needs further clarification: The VRCD's report notes that, as of December 31, 2017 there were a total of 1986 registered vacation rentals in the City of Palm Springs and notes the total number of homes with citations.

    I'm told by VRCD officials that the numbers of citations shown in Section 3 a, b and c of their report represent all administrative citations issued to homes since December 31, 2017. That is, they are not just a count of Hotline-sourced citations , but also of citations issued as a result of investigations performed by the VRCD itself, for the entirety of 2017:

    From the period December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017, of 1986 registered vacation rentals:

    • The number of vacation rentals with ZERO citations issued = 1730 properties
      (87.1% of registered VRs in Palm Springs)
    • The number of vacation rentals with 1 citation issued = 205 properties
      (10.3% of registered VRs in Palm Springs)
    • The number of vacation rentals with 2 citations issued = 43 properties
      (2.2% of registered VRs in Palm Springs)
    • Number of registered properties whose permits were suspended = 8 properties
      (0.4% of registered VRs in Palm Springs - note that under Ordinance 1918, suspensions are for 2 years)

      This is helpful information that we would not otherwise know.

 

Previous Summaries of my Ongoing Analysis of Hotline Calls

 

I recently (July 25, 2017) published an infographic that summarizes key findings from analyzing the first 23 weeks of published vacation rental hotline reports (Feb 5 - July 16, 2017). It's posted here: Palm Springs Vacation Rentals Infographic. I'm currently working on a new version of this analysis that focuses on the period from 4/16/17 and that will be released shortly.

 

The July 25th summary focuses on overall findings such as total number of calls, total number of citations, and the relationship between a home's volume of calls and the likelihood that it will have been issued a citation. The total number and type of citations is also described.

 

I had previously posted a summary of the first 12 weeks of the Hotline summary report visualized on the previous version of this map. It contains a great many interesting findings, which are still relevant (however, the infographic I mention above is based on much more data). For that older analysis, please see my Medium article, "Palm Springs Vacation Rental Hotline Calls: Observations from 12 Weeks of Reports."

 

What other Types of Vacation Rental Citations are Issued?

 

In addition to responding to disturbances such as noise and parking complaints, the Vacation Rental Compliance Department (VRCD) has gone to great lengths to try and bring any and all short-term rentals into compliance with the City's ordinance (which requires a permit and remittance of Transient Occupancy Tax, among other things). While they do not provide a breakout of the number of citations in each category, types of citations issued by the Vacation Rental Compliance Department include "Failure to Register" (operating a short-term rental without a permit), "Failure to Post Permit Number" (read on for more info on this type of citation), "Failure to Respond" (owner/manager did not respond in a timely fashion when contacted by VRCD) and "Violation at a Vacation Rental Property" (noise, disturbance, or other sort of non-compliant situation on property).

 

A great many of the citations from 2016 and earlier, for example, relate to unlicensed VRs identified by the efforts of city officials. Similarly, in an effort to help City enforcement officials identify unregistered rentals, owners and managers of licensed VRs are required to include their City ID numbers in advertisements for their short-term rentals (this includes such things as signs, newspaper ads, magazine ads and Internet website advertising/listing sites, etc.). Until recently, vacation rental operators were required to post their Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) ID numbers for the same purpose.

 

I'm told that many recent (late 2016/early 2017) citations relate to listings or advertisements where the rental in question was registered, but the advertiser had neglected to note their valid TOT number.

 

Learn More About Vacation Rental Rules and Enforcement in Palm Springs

 

I've written a new series of educational articles about Palm Springs vacation rentals which cover topics including "what is a vacation rental?", "basics of VR regulation in Palm Springs,"enforcement of the previous vacation rental ordinance," and "is enforcement of the new Palm Springs vacation rental ordinance working?"

 

You can find those, starting with the first article in the series on Medium by following this link.

 

Additional Notes About this Data and Palm Springs Vacation Rental Map

 

  • To view Hotline Call summary data used in this map as a table, click here. For original copies of these reports as they come from the City, go here.

  • As of April 20th, 2017 I have deactivated the underlying "locations of registered Palm Springs vacation rentals" data. That visualization was originally intended to help inform public discussion around the issues of vacation rental permit issuance, permit density and related topics. Having served its purpose, and now being rather out-of-date, I have made that dataset private and it is no longer displayed on this map.

  • The original source for the VR locations data came from a list published by a community group opposed to short-term rentals, which apparently had been requested from the City of Palm Springs. This dataset included 1848 addresses. It is possible that the list was incomplete as of that date (see next bullet).

  • The count of vacation rental permits in Palm Springs is reported monthly as part of a report compiled by the City's Finance & Treasury department. As of March 2018 the City reports 1,939 registered vacation rentals and homeshares. While the number of registered vacation rentals in Palm Springs has generally risen over the last several years, lately it has been essentially holding steady around (or under) 2000 registered short-term rentals. The last year has shown a decline of more than 9% in the total number of registered VRs (which peaked in April 2017 at 2135 permits). From Dec 16 to Dec 17, the number of permits grew by only 0.97%.

  • Current dataset size as of 4/22/18: 2301 hotline call summaries since 4/16/17, representing  approximately 1251 actionable calls. Explanation: The dataset includes a large number of "test" calls as well as "hang ups," code enforcement officers checking in, wrong numbers and calls that do not specify an address or are otherwise not related to a disturbance caused by a vacation rental. Such calls are called "non-qualified" (by VRCD) or "non-actionable" (in my analyses). All such call locations are geocoded as "N/A N/A, Palm Springs, CA" and there are 1050 or more of these in the dataset).
  • About purple coding: On occasion, callers will report a disturbance at an address which is not found in the Vacation Rental Compliance Department's database of permitted (registered) homes. Sometimes, such calls are obviously not about VR addresses (such as calls regarding hotels and other types of businesses, addresses not within city limits, or homes that are known to VRCD to not be operating as short-term rentals). However, due to the weekly nature of Hotline Summary reports, there are times when a "not a registered VR" address is reported, but VRCD has not had time to determine if there's any evidence of unlicensed short-term rental activity.

    Such calls note "VRCD to investigate" and I've started coding these as large "purple" dots meaning that it is unknown if the reported address is truly a vacation rental or not. I've been working with the VRCD to try and get periodic resolutions on these calls they can either be marked as "determined to be an unregistered vacation rental" or truly "not a vacation rental" calls. When an address has been determined as definitely not a vacation rental (i.e., the address is not being operated as a vacation rental, either legally or illegally) the location is marked as a small purple dot.

    While we know from past experience that unregistered vacation rentals are rarely uncovered via Hotline calls, it has happened. (Most often, calls about homes that are not in the VRCD's database of permitted rentals are found to not be operating as short-term rentals. However, I think it would be interesting to have a more precise read on this figure.) Currently there are at least 56 "verified not a vacation rental" addresses (small purple) and 56 "unknown status" addresses (large purple) in the database. There are 8 addresses that appear in the database which have been identified as operating as unregistered vacation rentals and have been cited as such under Ord. 1918 (small red dots).

  • Other recent changes: Added citation rate data for Hotline call volume categories (3/10/18). Fixed an "Info Window" bug that was causing the wrong page to be displayed upon clicking "View all calls about this property" links. (9/8/17). Added a new column to the original database for "Citation Coding", indicating the type of citation issued, for easier sorting and reporting on citations. (11/1/17).

  • I'm happy to answer questions about this project or vacation rentals in general. My contact information can be found on the CONTACT page of our main site.

  • I'm working on moving this map to a new website, which also provides compliant, easy-to-use tools for vacation rental owners and managers. Check out GRUPZ.COM Palm Springs Vacation Rentals and Beyond, or our listing there Elrod Villa Palm Springs Vacation Rental on GRUPZ.