Letter: Short-term rentals are harming neighborhoods

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding, “Bust, Boom and Then: What Happens to Short-term Rentals in the Long-term?” Oct. 20, Xpress:] We have deep concerns about the sharp increase in short-term rentals in Buncombe County, which is negatively impacting established neighborhoods. We live in Arden, which does not regulate STRs.

Investors are buying little plots of available land, cutting down the forests and building “tiny homes” solely to rent out; they are buying existing homes, taking off the mailbox and turning them into STRs, thereby creating “hotels” in the middle of established neighborhoods.

Not only is this driving up prices of homes, making it unaffordable for regular people who actually want to live here, but it destroys the whole idea of a “neighborhood,” where people live, know and help each other. STRs increase traffic and safety concerns.

There absolutely should be zoning rules, restrictions and regulations in Buncombe County that prevent investors, who have no interest in an area beyond making money, from creating these stand-alone STRs in established neighborhoods.

The STRs detract from the quality of life. Who wants to live next to an STR house that either stands empty for long stretches of time or is continually occupied by rotating strangers?

— Nancy Sultan and Roland Green
Arden

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3 thoughts on “Letter: Short-term rentals are harming neighborhoods

  1. Robert

    So what you’re saying is what everyone else has been saying: Tourism (too much of it, too much reliance upon it) is at the root of all of our problems.

  2. kw

    Yeah, and who wants 5-story buildings in low-density neighborhoods? Quality of Life for current citizens must be our number one priority.

  3. Taxpayer

    We live in the city limits and are surrounded by illegal whole house short term rentals. These are party central and have been reported to the city more than once. There’s really no reason to report illegal rentals because the city never does any enforcement other than an initial notice of violation and there aren’t enough police to have time for noise violations. What’s the point of having STR regulations and an enforcement staff?

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