Kennedy guest column: More VHR regulations? What happened to live and let live? (opinion)
May 5, 2018
I've got an idea on VHRs for us…
How about we let folks legally do what they want to with their homes.
A homeowner can't legally stay up all night and play loud music and shout and run around the yard naked. Why do we need a new law to keep a short-term renter from doing that or to limit VHRs because of that?
A homeowner can't legally leave a ton of garbage out front and let the bears get into it and not clean it up. Why do we need a new law to keep a short-term renter from doing that or to limit VHRs because of that?
A homeowner can't park 47 cars in his yard and on the street. Why do we need … well you get the picture.
Any other "heinous" crimes that these renters are doing are probably already against the law — not sure why we would need a new law to specifically cover short-term renters or to limit VHRs because renters are not following our laws? If they are doing something illegal that's bothering you, just call our wonderful cops.
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If we can magically make a law that disallows who a homeowner can rent to, what if a future group decides to randomly make a law that all of the houses in town have to be red or blue or green. Just doesn't make sense to me and it lowers the value of your home when you can't do what you want to with it within the law.
It seems this is a typical mindset for some in growing towns: "I have mine, screw you guys." Or: "I want everything to stay the same as it was when I moved here 20 years ago." Or: "I don't want to rent my house out so I don't want you to rent your house out either."
I don't know, it just seems un-American. Perhaps I am part of the dying breed of "live and let live."
I have a vacation home across the street from me and there are folks having a good time over there all the time. I don't care, in fact I dig it. I dig it because they are having fun in the greatest little town on the planet. I dig that they will go home and tell others about how much fun they had here. I dig that they are bringing in spending and tax dollars for us. I dig it because they add life to the neighborhood.
If they get super loud, I just turn up the movie I'm watching or put some Earl Nightingale on YouTube and plug in my earphones and listen to that. I understand I am pretty laid back but if it bugged any of my neighbors, they could just call the cops on them.
I might be naive, or perhaps I am missing part of the argument or something, but it seems that life is far too short to get all worked up over this; especially since there are some obvious benefits to vacation home rentals along with whatever detractions that some folks have.
Didn't I just hear that we may have to put the planned city recreation center development on hold because this new VHR restriction will lower our tax revenue? Isn't a little loud music or having to call the cops on some VHR partiers once a year worth having a new rec center?
I imagine that story will repeat itself over and over when we don't let homeowners legally do what they want with their homes. How many less folks are going to eat at my or others' restaurants so the city will get less tax revenue? How many less movie tickets will be sold? How many less kayaks will be rented? How many less sweet Tahoe T-Shirts will be sold? These things all affect our tax base and limit the cool things we can do and build here as locals.
Let's consider letting folks legally do what they want to with their homes.
Let's call the cops when homeowners OR renters are doing something that's illegal (if it bothers us).
Let's live and let live. Life is short, turn on some Earl and enjoy our brief time here.
Ted Kennedy is partner at the following Lake Tahoe businesses: AZUL Latin Kitchen; Base Camp Pizza Co.; California Burger Co.; Fireside Pizza Co.; Gym Love; Lakeside Beach House; Outpost Brewing Co.; Poke' Rok; Human Potential Speakeasy; Rubicon Pizza Co.; Social House Craft Sandwiches; Tahoe Stewards; Ten Crows BBQ.
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