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Short-term vacation rentals present risk

In response to the July 5th editorial supporting short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) in single-family dwellings in residential districts: The benefits as represented are true. They provide more lodging options, boost the local economy and help defray home ownership costs.

However, the disadvantages include: reduction in homes available for permanent residency; unfair competition to licensed, taxpaying B&Bs, motels, hotels, and country inns; risk to quality of life from rowdy guests; increase in the level of caution for neighbors because of "outsiders" in the neighborhood; reduced desirability and value of adjacent homes; likely need for increased police and emergency 911 services; possible animosity between an STVR guest and homeowners or their children; and need for a purchaser or renter to consider the existence or potential existence of nearby STVRs when choosing a home.

A key disadvantage is a reduction in home values and corresponding tax revenues. What happens if one appeals the assessed value of a home based upon any of the above? Even if these events were rare, how would a Board of Assessment Appeals justify not reducing the assessed value? A legitimate justification for a reduction could be simply the existence of an abutting STVR. If you were seeking to purchase or rent, would you be willing to pay the same amount for a home that abuts an STVR as you would for an identical home that does not ? If not, then short-term vacation rentals in single-family dwellings in residential districts should not be allowed.

Eric Treaster



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