A group of City residents has filed a formal Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition for a citizen initiative designed to limit vacation rentals in Big Bear Lake in the future. If the group is successful at obtaining the signatures of 10% of registered voters in the City over a 6-month period, a question could appear on the ballot for voters to consider at a future City election.
The proposed initiative, if ultimately successful, would make several amendments to the City's vacation rental ordinance, including a limit of 1,500 total vacation rental licenses in the future and a limit of 30 rental contracts per unit per year. There are currently approximately 10,000 residential housing units in the City, and approximately 2,600 of these residential units are currently licensed for use as a vacation rental. The City's current ordinance does not limit the number of annual rental contracts.
The City Attorney will soon draft a ballot title and summary of the proposed initiative, and will remit such to the City Clerk no later than January 11. The proponents of the initiative are then required to advertise the notice of intent and file an affidavit with the City Clerk, and may then begin soliciting signatures. If the proponents secure the signatures of 10% of the registered voters of the City (there are nearly 3,000 registered voters in the City) within a 6-month period, the petition will be presented to the City Clerk for validation. If validated, the City Council will then consider either adopting the ordinance as presented (without an election), scheduling a special election for the voters to consider the initiative provisions, or schedule the initiative for a regular City Council election in the future. The City Council also has the option to commission an impact report to better understand the effects of the proposed initiative.