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Turning Down the Volume on Party Houses

Wendy Moore steals images

L.A. City Council to impose new fines in crackdown on ‘party houses’

On Wednesday, February 21st, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to rein in out-of-control party houses in Los Angeles. The ordinance creates a series of escalating fines against the homeowners or those who rent from them, who use their homes for massive gatherings that disturb neighbors, block the public right-of-way, and threaten public safety. It includes increasing fines of up to $8,000. The ordinance also requires those who violate the ordinance to post a public notice for 30 days notifying neighbors of their unlawful conduct.

The new law, first proposed by Councilman David Ryu in 2016, expands the definition of “loud and unruly conduct” to include loud noises, obstruction of a street or public right-of-way, public intoxication and more.

The ordinance, which was supported by a variety of neighborhood councils and community organizations, is meant to dissuade property owners from renting out their homes to professional party-throwers and reduce the likelihood of future violations, freeing up law enforcement personnel for other purposes.

“Too often, we have seen people renting out their homes for the express purpose of turning it into a venue for elaborate events,” Councilmember Paul Koretz noted. “These aren’t barbeques or birthday parties, these are massive events with cover fees and throngs of people tossing cigarette butts in fire prone areas. Trying to control them has been a challenge for the City because the laws and jurisdictional authority have not been clear. This ordinance changes that.”

The new ordinance provides the City with a focused set of procedures and punishments to better address the phenomenon.

“With this new ordinance, the party is over for these completely out-of-hand neighborhood headaches,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “With escalating fines into the thousands of dollars, this ordinance has the teeth to help us continue our house party prosecutions with greater effectiveness.”

Apologies in advance to party fans Chad Kroeger and JT Parr.

Supervisor Barger: Call to Action! Monthly Meeting WEDNESDAY, 2/7 at 7pm

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger

Call and Email L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger TODAY!

It’s time for Supervisor Barger to do more, and call on Gov. Jerry Brown to shut down Aliso Canyon before he leaves office.
CALL her TODAY! (213) 974-5555

Supervisor Barger has agreed that:

  1. Aliso Canyon is not safe
  2. Residents are too sick
  3. AND we don’t need it for energy reliability.

She worked to keep Aliso Canyon closed to gas injections when Governor Brown push to open it. Now we need her to make a final stand in Brown’s last year. Call on Governor Brown to use his authority to shut down Aliso Canyon now, not in ten years!

CALL and EMAIL:
(213) 974-5555
[email protected]

Demand:
We want Supervisor Barger to pass a resolution like LAUSD did to call on Gov. Jerry Brown to #ShutItALLDown!

Save Porter Ranch Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, February 7, 7-9pm

Are you sick of all the latest leaks? Want to do more to help us shut down Aliso Canyon? Join us at the next Save Porter Ranch monthly meeting to get more involved with our campaigns to shut down Aliso Canyon, get a health study, Dr. Nordella’s study, and more.

Mark your calendars for the first Wednesday of every month for the Save Porter Ranch monthly meeting.

And please bring your checkbook, cash or credit card so you can donate to SPR!  Ask your neighbors to help even if they can’t be at the meeting.

What: Save Porter Ranch Monthly Meeting
When: Wednesday, February 7, 7:00-900pm, social/food from 7:00-7:30, meeting from 7:30-9:00pm
Where: 9666 Lemona Ave, North Hills, CA
Bring: small dish of food to share, notebook, pen

IF YOU ARE SICK OR SMELL GAS, take these steps to report it!

Download the New LAPD Devonshire App

LAPD Devonshire Mobile App by Apex Mobile Apex Mobile

devonshire_appOur own Devonshire division of LAPD has published an app specifically tailored to our community so you can stay informed and connected with important public safety information. The app has info on real time crime data, filing a police report, youth programs, and much more.

It’s important that our public safety personnel remain connected to the people and communities they serve. I want to thank the Devonshire Division leadership for developing this app and using modern tools to better communicate with the people they protect and serve.

The app is available for smart phone download. Check it out for yourself today.

Creek Fire’s Mass Horse Deaths Prompts Calls For Change

California Wildfires

After 29 horses died in last month’s San Fernando Valley wildfire, the City Council voted to address shortcomings to evacuation strategies.

In the wake of the deaths of 29 horses in last month’s Creek Fire in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to devise some new strategies on the evacuation of horses and other large animals during emergencies.

The wind-driven Creek Fire, which broke out near Sylmar on Dec. 5 and grew to more than 15,000 acres, destroyed a number of buildings, including a stable where the horses were killed.

The 11-0 vote by the council directs the Department of Animal Services, with the assistance of the fire and police departments and Los Angeles Equine Advisory Commission, to report on strategies to increase cooperation and partnership between the city and the equestrian community on the evacuation of horses and other large animals during emergencies.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the area impacted by the Creek Fire, introduced the motion.

“I know that this would be a tremendous benefit to the city overall …,” she said. “I think it’s important to look at the lessons learned and be sure that we address some of our shortcomings so that we’re more effective in these evacuations going forward.”

Granada Hills Emergency Plan Event

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GRANADA HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS

THIS MEETING COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE BIG ONE?

(EARTHQUAKES, FIRE, AND OTHER DISASTERS)

February 1, 2018 at 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Our Granada Hills Emergency Plan Event will be held at Granada Hills Charter High School located

10535 Zelzah St. in Rawley Hall.

This meeting will help you to save lives including your own, your families, and your neighbors.   The Granada Hills Emergency Plan is dedicated to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible.  During the meeting, you can hear local guest speakers and government officials present helpful information about the following:

  • Instruction Slideshow on Earthquakes
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Local Shelter Locations
  • Local School Pick Up Instructions
  • Utility Controls/Fire Instructions
  • Food and Tool Supply Check List
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
  • First Aid
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Map Your Neighborhood

Your Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Alliance (NCEPA) tells us that during a major catastrophe we will all be on our own for 3 to 14 days or more; our emergency responders (LAPD and LAFD) do not have the resources to take care of all of us.  It is up to us to take care of ourselves and each other!

For more information please call Mike Benedetto (818) 723-8087 or visit www.GHSNC.org

Mailing Address: 11024 Balboa Blvd., Box 767; Granada Hills, CA 91344

24 Years Later, the Lesson Remains the Same

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It was this week 24 years ago that residents of Los Angeles awoke to one of the most severe earthquakes to ever strike our region. The Northridge Earthquake resulted in 57 lives lost, over 8700 injuries, tens of billions of dollars in damage, and reminded us all of the precarious geography of our city.

It was in the wake of this destruction and terrible loss that Los Angeles came together like never before. We rebuilt, strengthened our building codes, instituted mandatory retrofits, and developed partnerships with the scientific community to keep residents safe in the event of the next earthquake. However, no matter how much we do collectively to prepare, recent events have shown that there is no substitute for individual preparation when it comes to protecting your home and family during natural disasters.

It is incumbent upon each of us to prepare a disaster kit, listen to emergency notifications, and have a plan in the event of an evacuation. 24 years later, the lesson remains the same: disaster preparedness is an endeavor in which we all must take part.

Visit readyla.org to learn more about how you can prepare your home and family.

– From Councilmember Mitchell Englander’s weekly newsletter

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Retires Early Following Year of Scandal

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Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck will retire after nearly a decade at the helm, he announced today

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck will retire, he announced today. After serving 40 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, the city’s top cop said he will step down in June.

Beck oversaw major changes at the department during his tenure as well as some of the most dramatic moments in department history, including last year’s cadet scandal and the murderous rampage and manhunt of former officer Christopher Dorner. He ushered in the era of police body cameras and was the target of countless Black Lives Matter protests, alleging he failed to take police brutality in minority communities seriously. His supporters, on the other hand, saw him as a reformer with enough clout among the rank and file to institute real change and the wisdom garnered from the mistakes of the LA Riots to steer the department toward a community-oriented approach to policing.

Beck issued a statement on Twitter, thanking the city where spent his career.

“Serving the citizens of Los Angeles for over 40 years has been the honor of a lifetime,” Beck wrote. “Leading the men and women of the LAPD — my family — has been a privilege I never thought I’d be worth of. Today, I am announcing my retirement effective June 27th of this year. Read more »

Granada Hills Community Forum for the Los Angeles General Plan

GH General Plan Community Forum Flyer

Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 7:00PM

St. Euphrasia School Auditorium
17637 Mayerling St
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Help Shape the Future of Los Angeles

The Neighborhood Councils of Granada Hills want YOUR input on the update to the General Plan for the City of Los Angeles.

We will be soliciting community feedback on:
– Long-Term Growth
– Air Quality
– Conservation
– Housing
– Mobility
– Noise
– Open Space
– Public Services and Recreation
– Safety
– Anything YOU think is important

 

SoCal Edison Investigated for its Possible Role in CA Wildfires

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Fire Investigators may be looking at the role Southern California Edison utilities could have played in the region’s wildfires.

Southern California Edison on Tuesday said it believes fire officials are investigating the company for its possible role in the catastrophic wildfires raging across the region.

About 250,000 acres have been burnt by multiple wildfires since last week, triggering some of the largest fire evacuations in the region’s history. Nearly 1,000 structures have been lost, and one person died in the fires.

The largest of the blazes, Ventura County’s Thomass Fire, continues to rage and is now the fifth largest in state history. The fires broke out during an intense Santa Ana windstorm that downed power lines across Southern California. The cause remains undetermined for most of the wildfires with the exception of Bel Air’s Skirball Fire, which investigators traced to a homeless encampment cooking fire.

In a press release, SCE officials said they believe CAL FIRE investigators are looking at the role of its utilities.

“The causes of the wildfires are being investigated by CAL FIRE, other fire agencies and the California Public Utilities Commission. The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the company stated. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities. SCE continues to cooperate with the investigations. The wildfire investigations may take a considerable amount of time to complete. SCE will provide updated information as circumstances warrant. ”

It’s not the first time this year that a utility has been investigated for its role in California’s wildfires. Authorities have been investigating Pacific Gas & Electric as a potential factor in the wine country fires that killed dozens of people.

Creek Fire: 95 Percent Contained; 60 Homes Lost

Creek Fire

Firefighters continued to make progress overnight, bringing the 15,600-acre Creek Fire to 95 percent containment

The Creek Fire was 95 percent contained Monday after destroying dozens of homes and scorching more than 15,600 acres, and full containment was expected later in the day, authorities said.

The upgraded containment figure from 90 to 95 percent was reported by Cal Fire Sunday night.

The wind-driven blaze broke out at 3:42 a.m. Tuesday. Over the weekend, more than 1,700 firefighters continued to patrol the area in Sylmar and improve lines of cleared vegetation.

The fire has destroyed 60 homes and 63 outbuildings, damaged another 55 homes and 26 outbuildings, and scorched 15,619 acres, Cal Fire reported. Currently, 2,500 structures continue to be threatened.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries Tuesday.

On Friday, all evacuation orders were lifted at 6 p.m. Evacuation orders first issued Tuesday affected about 150,000 households citywide, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said “thousands upon thousands of homes” had been protected over the past few days.

All roads have reopened, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Virginia Padilla, whose family owns a ranch in Sylmar, told reporters the fire killed at least 30 of the ranch’s horses.

Padilla said she and her family were able to get out of her home just in time Tuesday morning but were not able to take their horses with them.

All Los Angeles Unified School District schools in the San Fernando Valley and some on Los Angeles’ Westside — a total of 265 district schools and charter schools — were closed through last Friday. They have re-opened today.

How to Create a Great Mural of Los Angeles

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We’re excited to share with our stakeholders, how to work with us to create a public mural through the City’s Citywide Mural Program. Visit the Department of Cultural Affairs website http://culturela.org/murals for the mural registration application and for a robust Frequently Asked Questions section that can answer many of the questions for your Neighborhood Council.

There are a couple of key points to be mindful of with murals. Early research and preparation is key to a successful mural project.

1. Please contact the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s, [email protected] for guidance if you would like to work on a project involving a mural or providing money for a mural.

2. Money may only be expended toward mural projects when the mural is registered with the Department of Cultural Affairs, including murals located on public or private property. In addition, murals are currently only allowed on residential property in Council Districts, 1, 9, 14, and 15. Granada Hills North Neighborhood is in District 12.

3. If the mural is located on private property, please visit the Department of Cultural Affairs website http://culturela.org/murals for the mural registration application and for a robust Frequently Asked Questions section that can answer many of the questions for your Neighborhood Council.

Murals located on City property must go through a different process, reviewed and approved by the Public Art Committee and Cultural Affairs Commission. For more information, see DCA Public Art Approval

4. The property owner must sign the application certifying permission (notary is required) and accepting maintenance responsibility. A 2-year covenant is filed with the County Recorder’s Office to ensure that the mural remain for a minimum of 2 years. There is a registration fee of $60.00 for mural registration implementation.

5. There is a required neighborhood involvement meeting for each new mural proposal and is a great opportunity to expand your neighborhood’s Outreach. Reach out to your  Neighborhood Council to collaborate!

For questions and/or more information, visit http://culturela.org/murals/ and reach out to: [email protected]

“Love is a Warm Blanket” Donation Drive

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“Love is a Warm Blanket” is an annual blanket drive for the homeless in Los Angeles and beyond during Winter months, whose mission is to warm the hearts of the homeless and spread love with donations of blankets. New and gently used (washed) blankets will be collected at drop off sites until February 2018. You can also order directly through their Amazon wishlist.

Blankets are personally handed out to the general homeless population on the streets, at distribution events in communities including Skid Row, and to homeless shelter residents including emergency Winter shelters.

You can drop off a donation at any of the following locations.

The Valley Economic Alliance
5121 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 91403
Drop Off – MondayFriday8am-6pm
Note – Box on 2nd floor lobby.

The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
8756 Canby Ave.
Northridge, 91325
Drop Off – MondayFriday9am-5pm
Note: Buzz in through main gate.

Crossfit Lomita
2074 Pacific Coast Hwy
Lomita, 90717
Drop Off – MondayThursday5am-8:30pm
Friday5am-7:30pm
Saturday9am-12pm
Sunday9am-11am

Citywide Economic Development Stakeholder Survey

LA Citywide Economic Strategy

The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department has been tasked with developing a Citywide Economic Development Strategy and Five-year Implementation Plan. Your feedback will help us identify the importance of various business, workforce, and community issues, as well as actions that the City’s economic development strategy should prioritize. This survey is critical to ensuring that the Strategy represents a robust and equitable Los Angeles economy in the years ahead. Take the survey at LAEconomicDevelopmentSurvey.com.

Be a Food Waste Warrior, Join the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge

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The City of Los Angeles is proud to announce a new Food Waste Grant Challenge as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to divert waste from landfills. Over 40% of edible food moving through LA goes to waste, yet more than half a million Angelenos struggle with food insecurity. Wasted food is a social, environmental and economic problem. Combating food waste regenerates resources, saves money for households, and feeds people.

Grant proposals are due on December 8, 2017. Awards will be announced in mid-December, with a target start date of all projects on January 22, 2018. Project categories include food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use (including animal feed or fuel) and composting.

For more details, visit http://dpw.lacity.org/blog/los-angeles-food-waste-grant-challenge

GHNNC Proposal Regarding the Future Permitting Process for Street Vendors in the City of Los Angeles

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https://www.ghnnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/GHNNC-Street-Vending-10-2017.pdf

WHEREAS, on January 06, 2015, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council recommended that the City of Los Angeles should prohibit all street vending within the City limits;

WHEREAS, on March 01, 2016, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council reaffirmed its opposition to street vending, and further resolved that if the City of Los Angeles chose to support street vending then Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council would, in principal, support Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition’s conditions on such street vending;

WHEREAS, on February 15, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the act of vending food and products along the streets of the City of Los Angeles;

WHEREAS, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council now seeks to provide a more definite statement on the conditions under which the community would support a street vending ordinance for the City of Los Angeles;

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles is one of the most diverse and populous cities in the world, and is comprised of neighborhoods with such substantially different characters and needs that those neighborhoods will desire significantly different types and amounts of street vending;

WHEREAS, each of the ninety-seven Neighborhood Councils recognized by the City of Los Angeles is in the best place to determine what types, amounts, and locations of street vending their own community will be willing to support, able to maintain, cause the least detrimental effects associated with street vending, and be to the most benefit to the community;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council supports the following conditions and requirements on the permitting of street vending, and urges the Los Angeles City Council to integrate these suggestions into any ordinance in the City of Los Angeles that establishes a legal framework for permitted street vending:

  1. Prior to the City issuing a permit, any applicant seeking a permit should be required to submit to a review and obtain an opinion from the Neighborhood Council(s) wherein they seek to engage in vending activities;
  2. There should be a process for the local Neighborhood Council(s) to be able to recommend to the permitting agency: (a) conditions on the hours of operation, (b) conditions on the location(s) in which the applicant may conduct business within the neighborhood, and (c) conditions on the types of products they may vend;
  3. Prior to a permit-holder being issued a renewal for an existing permit, the permit-holder should be required to return to the local Neighborhood Council(s) and obtain another opinion under the same conditions as for new applications;
  4. There should be different lengths of time that a permit can be valid prior to requiring a renewal depending on whether food it being sold at the location: (a) permits for the sale of non-food (products-only) should be able to be approved for a period of either one-year, two-years, or three-years; and (b) permits for the sale of food and non-food products, or only food, should be renewed every year;
  5. There should be different categories of permit for street vendors that will primarily sell their food and/or products: (a) at a stationary location, or (b) in a manner that is non-stationary (i.e. using handcarts, at multiple temporary locations, using trucks, et cetera);
  6. An applicant seeking a permit for a stationary location should be required to submit a plan that describes: (a) the proposed location of their merchandise, (b) their plan for any deliveries or drop-offs, (c) the proposed locations of any signs, and (d) how their proposed location will permit the free flow of (i) foot traffic, and (ii) automobile traffic;
  7. Any permits issued for a non-stationary street vendor should specifically delineate the boundaries within which they are permitted to vend;
  8. No permit for a stationary street vending location should be issued within 100 feet of a single-family residence or a school;
  9. Non-stationary street vendors should be barred from selling anything (food or products) within 100 feet of a school;
  10. After obtaining an opinion by the local Neighborhood Council(s), and prior to the issuance of any permit, the agency in charge of the permitting process should review the application for compliance with all relevant laws and deny the applicant if the applicant is not in full compliance;
  11. The agency in charge of the permitting process should take the opinion of the local Neighborhood Council(s) into consideration when determining whether to grant or deny a permit;
  12. The City should not set minimums on the number of permits the agency in charge of the permitting process should be required to approve;
  13. If an applicant seeks a permit with a component that includes the on-site preparation of food, the Department of Health & Safety and the agency in charge of the permitting process should review the application for compliance with all relevant food-handling laws and deny the applicant if the applicant is not in full compliance;
  14. Depending on the types of food or products that an applicant seeks to vend, the applicant should be required to demonstrate compliance with any of the following on an as-needed basis: a Food Handling Certificate, FTB Resale License, Los Angeles County Health permit, and compliance with relevant federal, state, or local statutes, ordinances, or regulations;
  15. Upon receipt of a permit, the permitted street vendor should be required to openly and visibly post their permit during all hours they are engaged in vending, including setting up and tearing down a stationary location;
  16. The permit should clearly and visibly list: (a) hours of operation, (b) the location(s) in which they may engage in business, and (c) the types of products they may vend;
  17. Failure to adhere to the permitting, display, or operational limitations and requirements should lead to incrementally more severe punishments, including but not limited to: (a) impounding of any products on offer by a noncompliant vendor, (b) a fine that can incrementally increase, and (c) up to 6 months in jail for egregious violations or repeated violations by the same person(s).

LA Considers Controversial Airbnb Regulations

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Proponents of short-term rentals say many depend on it to cover their mortgage while critics say it exacerbates the housing shortage.

A Los Angeles City Council Committee is set to debate Tuesday proposed regulations for Airbnb and short-term housing rental companies in an effort to please both passionate advocates of the practice and those who say it is contributing to the city’s housing shortage.

The highest concentration of listings appear to be in neighborhoods like Venice, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Echo Park, Downtown, East Hollywood, Beverly Grove, Los Feliz and Sherman Oaks, according to a Department of City Planning report.

The Planning and Land Use Management Committee last discussed a proposed ordinance on home sharing in June, when it heard several hours of testimony from public speakers and also asked for a number of reports from city staff.

So many people showed up at the meeting an overflow area was set up outside on City Hall’s south lawn with an audio feed directly into the council chamber so that more people could voice their opinion.

The city does not have an ordinance regulating Airbnb, which connects travelers with hosts looking to rent out their home or a bedroom in their home, but struck a deal with the company last year for it to pay hotel taxes on behalf of its hosts under a three-year agreement, even though short-term rentals are illegal in many residential neighborhoods.

Among the most controversial parts of the proposed ordinance is limiting the number of rental days per host to 180 days a year. Other cities have enacted short-term rental limitations, with Santa Monica limiting them to 60 days and San Francisco limiting them to 90 days.

Los Angeles projects it could collect over $33 million in taxes from Airbnb for the upcoming fiscal year, and has banked on the number in its approved budget, but the company has warned that capping rental days would significantly cut into that number.

Many speakers at the last meeting told the committee that limiting the number of rental days could severely impact their finances or even their ability to keep paying their mortgage.

While Airbnb is fighting the 180-day ordinance, the city has been receiving pressure from other groups to pass a more stringent one. In March, a group that included representatives of the Venice Community Housing Corporation, the Coalition for Economic Survival and the California Hotel & Lodging Association called on the city to limit rentals to 60 days because it said Airbnb is helping create a housing shortage for L.A. residents.

At the June meeting, the committee asked the Department of City Planning to produce an analysis of the current state of short-term rentals in the city, best practices with other cities and provide answers to other related questions.

According to the department’s report, there are approximately 23,000 unique short-term-rental listings within Los Angeles. Of these 23,000 active unique listings, approximately 15,900 are “entire home” listings, of which there are a total of 11,400 renting for more than 90 days in the last year, with about 6,600 rented for more than 180 days.

This total represents “a relatively small portion of the 1.45 million total housing units in the city,” the report found, but added that the “fast growth of the practice and its concentration in certain neighborhoods threatens housing availability, affordability and residential stability of an increasing number of communities throughout Los Angeles.”

https://patch.com/california/northridge/s/g9hzh/la-considers-controversial-airbnb-regulations

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