I have been a real estate broker, property manager and investment property owner since 1984. I agree completely with Alan [Escovitz, “Neighborhood Group Opposes Expansion of Homestays,” April 27, Xpress].
There is nothing wrong with short-term rentals. As a matter of fact, I currently own a vacation rental home at Lake Keowee. When I was searching for the property, the zoning was as important, or more important, as any other property feature on my must-have list. I bought in an area zoned for short-term rentals. I didn’t try to sneak into The Cliffs or restricted developments, then try to rent my home by the week. If I had, the community would issue a cease and desist [order], then impose a stiff fine, just like the city of Asheville should be doing.
Zoning is enforced in every major city that has a growth plan. Without zoning, buying anything would always be a crapshoot. The city of Asheville already has single-family, residential-use zoning. They just need to enforce it. No one should have the right to open a hotel-like business in a family-zoned neighborhood unless a zoning variance is issued.
If you want to make extra money in short-term rentals, please go right ahead. Just comply with existing law and buy in the county or in an area zoned for that purpose. The law of highest and best use for zoned property defines location when buying real estate.
— Tommi Crow