Letter writer: Handing out fines for short-term rentals is governmental overreach

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Reading the letter in [the July 15] paper regarding the city’s approach to STRs [“Proposed Fines for Short-term Rentals Are Overzealous,” Xpress] brings to mind my years in the development business in a similar town to Asheville and that local government’s overreaction to nonexistent problems.

I seriously doubt that the STRs in the city of Asheville are eroding the quality of life here as there have not been hundreds upon hundreds of police reports trotted out as proof. The talking heads at the city are only concerned about raising more revenue to waste. Every property owner should be afforded the right to use that property to its highest and best use, and if that includes short-term rental, so be it.

Zoning ordinances are amended all the time to reflect the changing trends of land and property use. Handing out fines is more than overzealous, it’s an overreach of authority and next to impossible to implement without spending more to enforce than will ever be collected. Once again, government shows it’s the problem rather than the solution.

— John Green


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5 thoughts on “Letter writer: Handing out fines for short-term rentals is governmental overreach

  1. bsummers

    Every property owner should be afforded the right to use that property to its highest and best use

    Should they be afforded the right to rent out rooms to more individuals than a residential area’s parking can accommodate, leaving longterm residents with nowhere to park?

    Should they be afforded the right to fill up a house with so many people that it’s unsafe?

    Should they be afforded the right to knowingly rent their property to be used as a nightclub, a puppy mill, a meth lab or a brothel?

    No, to all those and many more restrictions on what property owners can do with their residential housing. Those are all things you will get fined for or worse. As soon as you take a ‘residence’ that was built for people to live in, in a residentially-zoned area, and turn it into a motel simply because you want to profit off the tourist trade – don’t cry when the city decides this is something they have a valid interest in discouraging.

    You said it – what is the “best use” for residential housing? IMO, it’s as a ‘residence’, not a motel.

    • Best Use

      Well….maybe the highest and best use for property in writer’s neighborhood could be a lawn mower race track…wouldn’t all that 2 cycle exhaust be lovely to wake up to and the hum of engines at bed time….ahhh. Seriously, I don’t think the government is making a lot of money from fines….Pssst…..its the neighbor who’s ratting them out because they’re annoyed by parties, blocked roads/driveways, litter, noise, etc. I bought my house in a neighborhood along a small dead end street with other houses…..not where someone can make a hotel. Highest AND best use does NOT mean the use making the most profit for an owner….its a balancing act (respecting others helps too).

  2. HuhHuh

    If you allow STRs, then the drug trade and prostitution business simply goes underground, to a neighborhood near you. You definitely do NOT want a meth lab right next door to you, simply because some dipwit neighbor is STRing his house.

  3. NFB

    If someone buys a house in an area zoned residential for the purposes of living there, they aren’t being unreasonable expecting that they are going to be living in a residential area.

    If someone buys a house in an area zoned residential for the purposes of turning that house into a short term rental they ARE being unreasonable expecting not to have to pay a fine of suffer some other penalty for that violation.

    • anothername

      Unless they use the powers of democracy to change the laws, that is.

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