Founder’s Story

I have been a resident of Palm Desert since 1973. A few years ago, short-term rentals (STRs) appeared in my neighborhood. Before long, my home was surrounded by 3 STRs.

I started a petition opposing STRs in residential neighborhoods, walking Palm Desert’s neighborhoods, interacting with residents, homeowners, and long-term renters. To date, I have collected over 2,000 signatures opposing STRs.

My mission gave me insight about our community. Many residents feel powerless to address STR issues: loud music, overflowing trash, parking problems, strangers in their neighborhood at all hours. One resident developed insomnia. Another struggled to sell her home; noise disruptions drove interested buyers away. Many homes for sale sat on the market.

At the start of my petition, Palm Desert had 1,300 STRs operating in residential neighborhoods. I feared our community would disappear. The short-term renter demographic does not support our local businesses; does not fill the churches and synagogues; does not attend our schools or participate in our local government; does not care about the future of Palm Desert.

My petition introduced me to residents who feel the same way. Together, we formed Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods to fight STRs and bring back our community.

The success of the Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods initiative and our involvement with the city demonstrates we have a greater role to play as citizens. This is particularly true for economic development. We need to bring new residents and new high-paying jobs to town. As a community-oriented group, we strive to be a useful link between residents and city officials.

Christel Prokay
Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods