Letter — Enforce law, end of story
If vacation rentals are illegal except in areas zoned for that use, why are we writing an ordinance to regulate them? If a motel-like business is allowed across the street then why not car repair, dry cleaning or health services?
If a realtor sold a home to someone wanting to own and operate a vacation rental in an area not zoned for that use, would this conflict be noted on the disclosure sheet? If such a problem arose and neighbors complained or initiated a lawsuit, who would be involved in the suit? The buyer, the seller, the realtor, everyone?
Vacation rentals are rented by the day or by the week (some even by the hour!) thus exposing the year-round resident to dozens of “new neighbors” each year. Are these visitors subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law? How do parents know who the renters are?
Is law enforcement equipped to handle the many problems that arise from this activity or are the neighbors left to handle disturbances as best they can?
I have heard of houses gutted and refitted to accommodate as many people as possible; of large groups brought in on shuttle buses; of fraternity parties replete with live bands and strippers; of visitors parking anywhere and everywhere during snow conditions — including residents’ driveways. These problems and even worse ones would give us pause. We should think of the value of a neighborhood populated with real neighbors and consider whether or not we want to write an ordinance governing a use that seems to be illegal. You may wish to visit some of the Web sites that promote vacation rentals. You might think that this won’t occur in your neighborhood and then be surprised to see on a website that a home near you now accommodates 20 people. Our peaceful neighborhoods are immeasurably valuable and we should get answers to important questions before we compromise away one of our greatest assets. This is an important issue and deserves the involvement by all who are affected by the outcome.
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