STRs need density restriction

Dear editor:
Editor’s note: This letter also was sent to the Riverside County Planning Department.
As you are aware, the short-term rental (STR) situation in Idyllwild/Pine Cove is getting more and more out of control because every community that can is either highly restricting STRs or banning them altogether.
I live on Marion Ridge Drive in Pine Cove and right now, 24800, 24825, 24835 and 24830 are all STRs. I live in the middle of them. It’s very troubling. Please prevent this density destroying what was once a neighborhood filled with neighbors.
I agree with what Ron Kuehl said at your April 20 meeting. Please listen to what he said. It more than makes sense; it is necessary.
I appreciate the improvements you’ve been making on 927. It’s very urgently needed.
Mark Dean
PCPOA board member
Pine Cove

Prohibit fires at STRs

Dear editor:
I am writing to express my concern about fire issues
connected to STRs. It is my opinion that there should be no barbecues allowed on STR properties. One errant spark landing in nearby leaves or pine needles, especially in the summer, could cause a fire that has the potential to destroy our town. Detailed instructions won’t keep accidents from happening, nor will permits currently required by the local fire station. Even propane fueled barbecues can start fires.
I also think indoor fireplaces can pose many hazards if they are not used properly. There is a certain amount of “science” involved in starting and keeping a fire burning efficiently and safely in an open fireplace. Most
natural firewoods contain a certain amount of resin or pitch that can cause the wood to pop when heated, creating sparks that can fly into a room if a screen is not used properly.
Fires must be attended to frequently to make sure the burning wood doesn’t fall out of the fireplace. Again, one innocent accident could threaten our town, our homes, our jobs, indeed, our lives.
If indoor fires are considered, only pressed logs should be allowed. They don’t pop and create sparks like natural woods.
Owners should have to show proof of the chimney being cleaned and the spark arrestor being checked periodically.
Free-standing, wood-burning stoves are safer, as long as the door is kept closed when in use.
Ultimately, no fires/barbecues or indoor fireplaces/woodburners should be allowed at STRs. Both are too dangerous in this fire-prone area. Ultimately, we have to consider that people can be stupid and careless. No offense meant to those who aren’t.
Kristy Frazier