Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods

Founder’s Story

My name is Christel Prokay. I have been a resident in Palm Desert since 1973. A few years ago, Short Term Rentals (STRs) began to appear in Palm Desert and quickly proliferated. Before long my home was surrounded by three STRs, which resulted in regular loud disturbances and security worries.

As a result of my frustration, I felt compelled to start a petition opposing STRs in residential neighborhoods (R1 and R2). For the next eight months I walked the city many hours a day, interacting face to face with residents, home owners and long term renters. Because, of these interactions I have collected approximately 2000 signatures opposing STRs.

During my petition drive, I made the following discoveries:

1) many residents felt frustrated , angry, and most of all powerless in dealing with STR issues such as loud noises, blasting music, overflowing trash cans, parking problems, strangers coming and going through neighborhoods day and night.

2) Numerous residents had experienced STR abuses: because of constant loud noise and loud music, she has not been able to sleep for months, which consequently affected her health. Another short term rental victim could not sell her house due to the noise issues when interested buyers came to visit. Many homes for sale grew old on the market.

At the time of my petition, Palm Desert had approxamately 1300 STRs operating in residential neighborhoods. I found myself wondering where and when it would stop. It felt as if desirable neighborhoods would dissappear, only to be replaced by a transient population which does not support our local businesses, does not work/shop & pay taxes here, does not fill the churches and synagogues, does not attend our schools and participate in our local government, does not care about the future of Palm Desert.

Fortunately, my petition drive introduced me to many residents, who felt who felt the same way, for the same reasons. Together, we formed PROTECT PALM DESERT NEIGHBORHOODS to fight STRs and bring back the quality of life we all came here to enjoy.

The success of the Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods initiative and our involvement in the city affairs led us to believe that we had a greater role to play. This is particularly true for economic development. We need to bring new residents and new well-paid jobs to town. We want to be a useful link between the residents and the city officials.

Christel Prokay
Protect Palm Desert Neighborhoods