Pacific Grove Measure M seems poised to pass
Of the more than 5,000 votes counted as of early Wednesday morning, 58 percent had voted yes on Measure M.
PACIFIC GROVE — After months of city council debates, a citizens’ initiative and a controversial lawsuit, Measure M, which limits short-term rentals within the city, looks to be on its way to passing.
Titled “The Initiative to Preserve and Protect Pacific Grove’s Residential Character,” the measure was brought forth by the public action committee Pacific Grove Neighbors United. Its intent was to limit short-term vacation rentals in the city’s residential zone. Such rentals would still be allowed in the coastal zone and commercial districts. It also wouldn’t affect homeowners occupying their homes while renting out a room.
“It’s what 10 months of work will do for you,” said Thom Akeman, a P.G. resident and one of the initiative’s committee members. “We stuck to the plan from the beginning and gave honest information to the voters of Pacific Grove.”
Resident Luke Coletti along with residents Elinora Susan Mantovani and Karin T. Locke introduced the proposed initiative in January and it was officially certified for election in late May after easily collecting over 1,600 signatures. In June, the City Council officially approved it for the November ballot.
Akeman said the STR issue has been a zoning issue all along.
“Our City Council stopped paying attention to the residents and gave more attention to the out-of-town investors and so we had no choice but to do a ballot initiative,” he said. “The community won.”
Those backing the measure included residents who view STRs and their tenants as disruptive and overrunning their small town and changing the character of “America’s Last Hometown.” There are also associations like the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce concerned that such vacation rentals are negatively affecting the business of the town’s inns and hotels.
“Considering where the money came from to finance the Yes and the No on M, it’s clear that the local residents and voters were not persuaded by the out-of-the area money such as Expedia, Home Away and all the funding that came from out-of-town people against Measure M,” said Chamber President Moe Ammar. Read full story.