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La Quinta is a city in the eastern Coachella Valley. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

Stiffer fines and penalties, including a two-strikes rule, plus a required workshop for prospective vacation rental owners are among recommendations for changes to the city’s ordinance an ad-hoc committee is proposing to help address some short-term vacation rental problems in La Quinta.

City officials are studying ways to address and reduce complaints that have led to a moratorium on all new permits in La Quinta. 

The city currently has 1,290 permitted short-term vacation rentals. The moratorium is in effect until Feb. 2 but could be lifted earlier if an amended ordinance is adopted.

“We’ve had short-term rentals since 2008,” Mayor Pro Tem John Peña said, and when problems have come up, the city has addressed them by amending the ordinance.

But COVID-19 brought an increase in short-term vacation rentals when hotels and