PREMISE — Since a 1968 Amendment to the state constitution, unless preempted, local governments have had the power to govern home rule. It is, therefore, their duty to regulate short-term vacation rental housing, and to protect the character of existing residential neighborhoods in the best interest of the community.
PROBLEM — In 2011 Cities and counties were preempted and lost the authority to do their job in regulating vacation rental housing because the vacation rental industry disagreed with the choices of some communities. The restoration of partial authority in 2014 only further complicated the issue and enhanced the conflict. Now the industry is pushing hard to go back to the disaster of 2011.
EFFECT — Incompatible short-term rental housing negatively impacts the neighborhood environment and impairs its stability, affecting the entire community.
EFFECT — Short-term vacation rental houses are commercial ventures operating hotel-like businesses in residential neighborhoods and condominium communities.
EFFECT — The law exempting vacation rental housing from local zoning ordinances has effectively punished communities who had no prior restrictions or problems with vacation rentals.
EFFECT — By exempting vacation rental housing the state created a privileged class that was not part of the due process and zoning that is the main function of local government. This encouraged widespread building of vacation rental properties in residential neighborhoods as a class of residence exempt from local governance.
EFFECT — With the 2014 legislation, short-term vacation rental housing may only be partially regulated by local government.
CONCLUSION — The 2011 law exempting vacation rental housing from local regulation was a mistake and it has taken its toll by favoring the rights of new investment interests over existing residents and homeowners. This current effort by the vacation rental industry to go back to 2011 must not be allowed to succeed.