I can almost bet that none of the county supervisors live next to or near a short-term rental property, by some of the assumptions they have made in formulating their short-term rental ordinance.

The first clue is their defining the size of a house and the amount of people in the house as a determinate of the likelihood of it being a magnet for parties.

As a long-term desert resident now slowly being surrounded by short-term rentals and speculation houses being built for said purposes, I can assure you that a small house with only six partying people, with enough alcohol, can create enough noise and trouble to equal the 20 limit mentioned. When you add endless electronic music to the mix, you get the picture.

The second clue was their assumption that large properties could absorb more people, assuming that distance would reduce complaints, I guess.

The reality is that if you drive around rural Joshua Tree or view Google Maps satellite pictures of the area, you will note houses seem to be in clusters. That is because not all roads have power lines. So on my street of larger lots, yes we could park a hundred cars, but because when these houses were built in the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and now, the actual houses are positioned quite close together to take advantage of nearby utilities. From my garage, I can almost read the license numbers of the cars on my neighbor’s driveway.

Since I have witnessed the evolution of the short-term rental business from the beginning to the present, I would also note that the motive and behavior of the clients of these properties has changed. It used to be that they were staying to be close to the park. They would arrive late Friday night from LA, sleep in late Saturday morning, take off for a hike in the park, return late afternoon for a show and a nap and then head out for dinner in Joshua Tree. No problems.

Now they come with vehicles loaded with enough booze and food to last their entire visit. They are so well stocked, they don’t even have to make the classical emergency beer run. Even I am impressed by their organizational skills! But seriously, these people are here to party. Shortly after their arrival, they are not interested or aware of the great views or the peaceful, quiet, special environment they have entered.

One of the regulations the supervisors included was the requirement that all vehicles license plate numbers be listed at check-in. What if four more cars show up?

These and many more questions must be answered. Without some kind of on-the-ground supervision, 24-hour manned complaint call center, etc., I predict continuing problems.

Joshua Tree is a very special place, and I’m not sure having a reputation as a destination party magnet is something our community wants for the future.


(9) comments


Tourism is literally the only industry we have here, but yeah sure, let's squash it.

Mark Simmons

While it’s true that tourism is a key factor in driving Yucca’s economy, I absolutely agree with the author of this letter. In my view, these LA types, of which I am one, but have called YV my. home for. 33 years and counting, feel they have the right to intrude on our area and do whatever they want with no regard for those who live here and their neighborhoods. I’m not a fan of vacation rentals. I.feel they are a disruption and a nuisance to neighborhoods. Being that my wife and I are in the service industry, we have cleaned our share of vacation rentals over the years. Believe me the things that I see you left behind from the so-called nice tourists.would literally make your skin crawl. I have even been threatened by guests who refuse to check out on time so that we may clean for guests who were awaiting to check in. It is my feeling that when I go on vacation I want to do just that. Why would I want to leave my neighborhood to go on vacation in another neighborhood? I want to go to a first class hotel and enjoy my vacation.. I could understand it if I was playing to move to an area just so I can get the lay of the land. But as of now, I would never waste my time or money at an Airbnb. This letter is also the reason I proudly Display a “Go Back to LA “ sticker on my vehicle. The running joke between my wife and I is, “Is it Sunday yet?” I always look forward to Sunday evenings because that means the tourists are on there way back to where they came from and we locals can have our beloved area back and a little peace and quiet for a few days.


Classic NIMBYism from Mark. "Yucca Valley from the Reagan administration must be preserved in amber and never change." Also having a Go Back to LA sticker when you're from LA is *chef's kiss*

Mark Simmons

CheRojo, Living here 33 years, owning a business, raising a family, being a part of this community, etc., I think I’ve earned the right to have an opinion. Don’t like it? You know what you can do Sunshine. If you knew me, you’d know I care not what others think. Bye-bye!

Mark Simmons

FYI Che baby, I came here for a job in ‘86. I was the sports editor for this very publication for more than four years. Long story short, I was only going to be here for a few years, but I met my wife, fell in love, bought a house, raised a family and have made YV my home. You’re right I do miss Reagan. He was in my opinion, the last best Republican. See ya!


I suppose the area residents prefer to keep things the way they were. Just a nice area with drug dealers, domestic violence (replete with nightly screaming sessions day in, day out), break-ins, shootings, and the hordes riding their dirt buggies over public and private land. Where the only job or opportunities was China-Mart or similar low wage job.

I am certain some areas have experienced an uptick of bad guests. At least they leave after a few days. Bad neighbors are eternal.

Duly noted: The San Bernardino County will knock the small time operator who only desires to rent once in a great while out of the market, while big time out-of-town operators will pay the exorbitant bi-annual fee, and continue to get full revenue from the property regardless of the type of guests.

Myself:. I live local, heavy commute for meaningful employment, have a couple long term rentals, and have one property in reserve for my aging parents that I would like to rent out just enough to cover it's basic costs (taxes, illegal fire fees, and high insurance due to lack of fire Dept.) to either a family or couple to enjoy the local parks and nature. So it will sit as is, eating cash until my parents need it full time for me to care for them. There won't be any employment opportunity for a local to clean it after guests.

Mark Simmons

I always appreciate your comments Blayd. I’ve seen so many changes in this area over the past 33 years. I was a relatively young man when I moved to these here parts. I too, was an arrogant LA type. Now swiftly approaching old age, some may say I’m just an old arrogant, opinionated local lol. I remember living here before it was incorporated. Our side lost by seven measly.votes.Despite having friendly relationships with some who sit on the town council, I much preferred this area before it became a town. I loved the old west vibe that this area used to have prior to 1991. I also remember this be a much friendlier area and not having to lock my doors. or closing my windows on a warm summer evening. I think it’s admirable what you’re doing for your mom and dad. I wish my mom and dad were still around they loved coming up to Yucca Valley from the Ventura county area. Back to my original comment. I am not an NIMBY. I know that everything in life must change for the good and bad. My original gripe is in line with the author of this letter. I live in town but where I live I am surrounded by open desert. I have a problem with these out of town types who come and think the desert is their playground and can ride around on my property anytime they feel like. I’m also tired of picking up after them. My property isn’t much but it’s all I have. We do the best we can and work hard to maintain a roof over our heads. I’m tired of people accusing me of something they don’t even know what they’re talking about and not knowing me as a person. That certainly was directed at you Blayd. Am I a protective of this area? You bet I am! I love this area because it’s the area where I met the love of my life and raised my son who is now living his dream in Laguna Beach.

With that said, I would like to wish everyone on here a very happy Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season! M-😊

Mark Simmons

Blayd, that comment was NOT directed at you. Geez, I gotta be better at proofreading before I hit the post comment button. My bad! M-

Roadrunner dessert

There are county rules in place for things like loud noise. Quiet hours are between 10PM and 7AM. Noise levels are not to exceed certain decibels between those hours. 45-dBA is the number. So, in residential areas there are guidelines for Airbnb's or similar. If they're keeping you awake, trespassing or littering for example, call the cops and complain to Airbnb or whatever service they are using. Disruptions of any kind should not be tolerated in what are residential areas by any of the party/ vacationer spots.

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