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Hey, Rancho Mirage, judge people by their behavior, not their age

Hey, Rancho Mirage, judge people by their behavior, not their age
A 2003 photo of the River mall in Rancho Mirage, where under-30s are still allowed. (Los Angeles Times)

Lawyers will probably make mincemeat of Rancho Mirage's new rule about who can rent a vacation house there. But until that day, age discrimination rules in the town.

According to a report in the Desert Sun, the City Council passed a new rule that only people 30 or above can sign a short-term rental agreement.

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The reason is the number of vacation partiers who crank up the noise and indulge in other annoying behaviors that make them nuisances to nearby neighbors. Other towns also have been plagued with similar complaints now that such websites as airbnb.com have made it easier than ever for people to find short-term tenants to bring in some extra money.

And yes, young people are more likely to act up than older folks, but that is not an excuse to stereotype an entire group. Plenty of young adults are very responsible, and plenty of 30-year-olds aren't. It's not even clear that homeowners could legally insist that a tenant be 30 in order to get their rental; the city might be exposing them to lawsuits.

The city has ordinances on noise and other public nuisances. (And its ban on outdoor music at vacation rentals seems reasonable.) If it needs to strengthen those, fine.  Probably what it needs to do more of is enforce the ones it has.

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