Letter writer: Homestay ordinance changes would hurt family-friendly neighborhoods

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Homestays/[Accessory Dwelling Units] with 30-plus-day minimums are an important housing option. However, reducing the timeline (i.e., encouraging more Asheville housing to become vacation rentals) poses several unintended consequences.

As a young working professional who grew up here and now is a proud father of three children (5, 3 and 1), I can see issues unique to those with families: housing availability, affordability and neighborhood diversity. Housing stock becomes more of a commercial investment than a family home. Housing is retained more by what it can ”bring in” on the lucrative vacation rental market.

This will contribute to increased housing prices due to simple supply and demand: Fewer homes are available (less desire to sell — if profitable for the owner) and greater demand for “ideal” properties. The “ideal” properties are also likely the very ones that families with young children seek (larger, multiple bedrooms, safe/friendly neighborhoods, proximity to downtown/playgrounds). Families unable to factor in the short-term rental revenue (using bedroom areas — nor able to risk unknown transient guests on their property) would be further priced out.

We now live near to three-plus “illegal” vacation rental homes and/or ADUs, [and] the impact is notable. No longer knowing neighbors, safety concern with your young kids talking to the transient folks, and the very different desires (regarding noise, traffic speed, etc.).

Neighborhoods with character, walkable to city centers — parks and playgrounds, and of the size families need — will no longer be neighborhoods inclusive of families. Having a diverse neighborhood doesn’t mean that ordinances should be written only for families — but by allowing the proposed Homestay/ADU changes, it’s essentially writing them out.

 ― Mark DeVerges


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One thought on “Letter writer: Homestay ordinance changes would hurt family-friendly neighborhoods

  1. Becky

    Renting a room in your house or an accessory dwellingbis one thing. Buying up homes for the purpose of converting them to fulltime hotels is something else. The value of neighbors you know is real, as we had here before 4 out of 12 were removed and became profit making businesses in our formerly residential neighborhood : “Housing stock becomes more of a commercial investment than a family home. Housing is retained more by what it can ”bring in” on the lucrative vacation rental market.

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