Letter: Short-Term Rentals

After reading about the Nelsonville Village Board decision to restrict certain types of short-term rentals, I wonder why there aren’t any complaints about STRs mentioned (Nelsonville Limits Short-Term Rentals, Jan. 21). I visited the Village of Nelsonville website and don’t see any specific complaints there, either.

I have many friends who were suffering financial hardships during the Great Recession and were able to use Airbnb to monetize their homes and survive.

Others were able to monetize their cars driving for Uber and Lyft. These types of companies have helped to revolutionize many people’s lifestyles, where one can quit their 40-plus hour, five days a week job and create income from things they already own. (I own a prop rental company and practice what I am preaching.)

Obviously there needs to be a check on making sure that neighbors are not affected by unruly guests. Maybe the regulations should have been created to target owners with multiple, legitimate complaints submitted by neighbors.

As far as choosing what can be considered a rental property, why should the Village Board be regulating a camper or trailer on private property when both owner and tenant have an agreement? That seems like an overreach into private property rights, and that the board might be providing a solution looking for a problem. The fact that the mayor voted against this legislation is telling.

Stephen Wallis, Garrison

5 thoughts on “Letter: Short-Term Rentals

  1. Wallis asks: “Why should the Village Board be regulating a camper or trailer on private property when both owner and tenant have an agreement?” Because what you do on your property affects your neighbor’s property value. It’s why we have zoning laws. [via Facebook]

  2. Airbnbs take away from affordable, long-term rentals. We are in a housing crisis in which people can’t find a place to live. [via Facebook]

  3. How does renting an apartment to an individual yearly, compared to renting to individuals weekly or daily, affect my neighbor’s property value? Either way it’s a rental. [via Facebook]

    • Because short-term rentals mean that there are always strangers in your neighborhood, and no one has vetted them. Airbnb “guests” of a neighbor, seeing me packing my car, asked: “How long will you be gone?” It’s a safety thing. It’s a privacy thing. It’s intrusive to have hundreds of strangers float through the converted garage next door. [via Facebook]

  4. To clarify, I voted against the STR law because I felt it could have been achieved in a simpler manner, with less stress on village government and employees to administer and enforce it. I am for regulations of short-term rentals, just done differently.

    I’ve said from the beginning, starting as a trustee, that the village needed a process in place to ensure proper fire and safety baselines were met (e.g., fire and carbon monoxide detectors, egress). There was also the issue of proof of insurance on these units, and whether insurers of these structures were aware of the intended use — much in the way car owners have to alert their carriers if they are using their vehicle as an Uber. When it became a debate about 100 days versus 150 days, proof of log books, lotteries, etc., that is when my vote was lost.

    That being said, there are zoning laws that address specific issues such as campers or trailers. Issues such as these are at the core of why zoning was instituted in the first place. These uses are permitted in specifically zoned areas such as campgrounds and trailer parks where electrical, sewer and potable water connections can be provided by infrastructure — and even then I’m sure the park associations have rules about subletting.

    Bowman is the mayor of Nelsonville.