top of page


On April 10, 2017, the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) heard a presentation on the status of short-term rentals (Airbnb, vrbo, hip-camp, etc.) in the unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin, including Joshua Tree.  Radio station KCDZ-FM did a good report on it the next day.  We've reproduced it, from the station's web site.  We've added a few observations that were not in the radio story but which were stated at the MAC meeting.

First, the radio story: 


    By Z107.7 News, on April 11th, 2017

At last night’s meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council in Joshua Tree, County Code Enforcement Chief Andy Wingert spoke to a full house about the County’s plan to permit and regulate vacation home rentals. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there …

Wingert assured the more than 60 people in attendance that the short-term or vacation rental ordinance coming before the county board of supervisors does not apply to Joshua Tree. He went on to say that before drafting any ordinance regulating vacation rentals in the unincorporated areas of Morongo Basin, the county would organize more opportunities for community input. Some of those meetings could begin as soon as next month. The ordinance currently under consideration is limited to mountain area communities such as Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. That ordinance calls for restrictions on number of guests, requirements for parking, and prescribes a standard code of conduct. It also requires anyone operating a vacation rental to purchase a permit. And how does the county know who is operating such a business? Wingert said the county is very effective at “mining the Internet” for individuals who operate short-term vacation rentals without permits.

… We've added a few observations that were not in the radio story, but which were stated at the MAC meeting.

  • Code Enforcement is reactive.  They rely on complaints to take action.

  • Even without a short-term rental ordinance in place, noise nuisance calls can be made -- to the sheriff, not to Code Enforcement -- for the record.  The non-emergency number is (760)366-4175.

  • The radius for notification of neighbors that a property is being used as short-term vacation rental is yet to be determined for the Morongo Basin version of the short-term rental ordinance.  The 300-foot radius used in the mountains is acknowledged to be inappropriate here.

  • Short-term rentals are technically illegal here, but the practice is so widespread that the County has a moratorium on enforcement of the prohibition.

bottom of page