Ordinance 927.1

Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Riverside County 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez Friday, Aug. 12. The issue of STRs creating water shortages, however, has been disputed by all three water managers in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove area.

Dear Supervisor Perez:
I would like to point out the reasons that great urgency is required by you to insist that Idyllwild-Pine Cove receive the same treatment that was so strongly suggested by your counterpart Supervisor Washington regarding Temecula Valley during your last board meeting regarding changes to the 927.1 ordinance pertaining to short-term rentals (STRs).
I’m referring to the importance of requiring that all STRs be hosted. By adding this change to the planning commission’s suggested changes, pretty much all of Idyllwild and Pine Coves problems could be resolved.
Here are the benefits of requiring a host at all STRs:
1) Enforcement needs would be greatly reduced. A host could handle all noise, parking and trash issues on site.
2) An on-site host could provide direct assistance in the event of an evacuation from fire or other disaster.
3) Employing on-site hosts could provide low-cost housing and jobs for locals (a problem that is currently exacerbated by the current STR situation).
4) Requiring on-site hosts could reduce the total number of STRs to more manageable numbers which would reduce the burden of natural resources (water, power, sewage, etc.) that currently have us seeing a Stage 2 water conservation requirement for the Idyllwild-Pine Cove area ( zip code 92549).
I have recently written an op-ed that has expressed this position and received several (all positive) comments from my community confirming the overwhelming agreement with this position. I’m guessing that your phone has been ringing as well in this regard.
Please consider these urgent suggestions.
Mark Dean
Pine Cove Property Owners Association Board Member

Remembering Annamarie Padula

Dear Editor:
Fruit cake? Nut bread? Any way you cut it, Annamarie’s loaves were outstanding, the best I have ever eaten. I enjoyed them so much that I feel compelled to share my short-lived, once-a-year joy of buying them at the Rotary Club’s Harvest Festival before they sold out. Talk about personal pride and joy — the baker sitting there with her edible works of art.
I sent loaves to friends and family in other states to share the joy and pleasure. My only regret is I could not send as many loaves as I wanted and they were only available — as far as I knew — once a year in the fall.
In my pantry, they seldom, if ever, lasted more than a few hours after the first slice. Art and I kept coming back again and again for the guilty pleasure until all that was left was the sweet, sticky wrapper. Diets and other concerns just flew out of the window because the bread/cake was so darn irresistible.
As a fruit fiend, nut-a-holic (and “baker”), I enjoyed them so much that I wanted the recipe, and shyly asked Annamarie about it, realizing its value as her family’s treasure, which she probably would not want to part with and which I thought could thrive in a bigger market, but also realizing the inherent risks in such an idea and possible endeavor.
So, I miss the seasonal sweet and was saddened when she passed in 2020. She was a nice lady who devoted many volunteer hours to Idyllwild-Pine Cove. I am sure her legacy lives on as a mother, friend, baker, community-plus, opinion-leader and more.
I appreciate the pic on page A5 of the Aug. 11 Town Crier. Hats off to the legacy and memory of Annamarie.
P.S.: Art just pointed out the pic is there as a part of the “Seeking EMax award nominees” story. Indeed, she was a good example of a worthy honoree, but my eyes zoomed in on the smiling Annamarie and the stack of loaves in holiday-themed wrapping. Thanks for the memories.
Debra A. Varnado
Pine Cove

A few opinions on a few things

Dear Editor:
Upon completion of the numerous (almost 80) drainage culverts installed between Lake Hemet and Idyllwild, signage was erected warning “Road May Flood.” I found that quite ironic considering all of the time and money spent (wasted?) to complete the project. After the last rain, road crews closed the road near Keen Camp Summit to remove debris. I understood why. Quite ironic indeed.
Moving on, I appreciate that JP [Crumrine] wrote an article detailing our water situation but must disagree on two of his statements. First, he stated that Hill water districts are not as vulnerable (to droughts) as most of the region. We are actually more vulnerable because when our only water source dries up, we have nowhere to import from and no recycling ability. Second, he stated, “Another insight from these data is that short-term rentals are not a threat to local water supplies.” I strongly disagree. He was only comparing data from 2021 with 2022. STR numbers were probably nearly identical both years.
In my research (that I sent to the Town Crier over a year ago) concerning water use and wastewater flow, I compared 2013 (pre-STR boom) with 2019 (pre-COVID) and there is clearly a huge negative impact on our community from STRs and it’s only gotten worse. Our entire water supply is at risk from overpopulation, drought and septic leach line seepage contamination. People don’t realize the value of water until there is none.
Finally, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Max. May he rest in peace. Unfortunately, when he died, his lifetime appointment (made by ARF) died with him. In order for our community to have a democratically free and fair election, can we first have all full-time residents vote on whether we want a dog for a mayor or not? Personally, I have heard many pros and cons regarding this and I am fine either way. I just think that our community should decide with a majority opinion on such an important issue.
Dave Hunt
4th generation Idyllwild Hillbilly