Town meeting highlights vacation rentals, mental health


At the Monday, Nov. 5, Town Hall meeting, a succession of speakers at the Three Rivers Memorial Building provided updates on county services and the mental health program of the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. 
Supervisor Kuyler Crocker spoke briefly on vacation rentals and what direction the county Board of Supervisors might take to deal with the dramatic increase of short-term rentals in Three Rivers.
Crocker reported that county planning staff is reviewing the data and will recommend to the BOS that some sort of registration or licensing program be implemented. There are mixed feelings on whether a zoning ordinance would be required. 
“Most owners are good stewards but the problem becomes one of how we bring the minority into compliance,” Crocker said. “A registration program would require an inspection and at least we would know the players.”
The Board will consider what, if any, action should be taken countywide or only in Three Rivers where most of county’s vacation rentals are concentrated. Crocker said he expects the Board to consider short-term rentals as an agenda item in December. Crocker also announced that the draft EIR on the Three Rivers Community Plan update should be released by the end of the year.
David Wood, the meeting’s moderator for the Three Rivers Village Foundation, introduced Michele Cruz, plan coordinator for the County of Tulare’s Mental Health Services Act. Dr. Wood, a psychologist, and Cruz serve together on the Mental Health Advisory Council. Both are residents of Three Rivers, and that’s a valuable asset to provide access for locals to mental health services.
Cruz pointed out that when needing mental health assistance, just dial 211. 
“There are many resources available, from a suicide prevention lifeline (800-273-TALK) to a Psychiatric Emergency Team (800-320-1616),” Cruz said. “And if you just need someone to talk to, there’s the Tulare County Warm Line (877-306-2413).
Dr. Wood concluded by saying there are a lot of mental health resources out there for those in need. 
Next month’s meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 4, and will focus on ambulance response times in the rural areas of Tulare County.                           

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