A party house for every neighborhood!

On Feb. 7, 2011, Buncombe County Planning and Development recommended a change to the county zoning ordinance to permit daily and weekly rental of single-family homes in Buncombe residential zoning districts. This change is strongly supported by real estate agents, property investors and property managers who see short-term rentals as an aid to the sale of vacation homes and future retirement homes in the Asheville area. This change is also touted as great for Asheville-area tourism.

Enactment of this change would have serious consequences for the quality of life of many current homeowners. A party house next door is not something that most of us dreamed of when relocating to Asheville. How many of us would purchase a home knowing the neighbors were running a short-term rental business! Noise, late-night arrivals, the comings and goings of renters, prospective renters, cleaning crews and increased traffic are not what we bargained for.

If you think that you are protected by neighborhood covenants, think again! Most covenants do not prohibit short-term rentals, as they were not considered a possibility when written. It is very hard to update covenants, as generally they require approval of 90 percent of the homeowners. Enforcement of covenants generally requires hiring an attorney.

I have no desire to infringe upon the rights of homeowners in the use of their property. At the same time, the rights of neighboring homeowners should not be infringed upon by those seeking to profit from short-term rentals.  It is unacceptable that our county government is considering the operation of a business in an area zoned single-family residential. There is a place for motels and bed-and-breakfast operations, but it is not in the midst of a residential district.

The next step for this proposed zoning change is a public hearing and vote by our Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Please let our commissioners know your view of permitting short-term rentals in your neighborhood.

— Al Gumpert

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5 thoughts on “A party house for every neighborhood!

  1. hauntedheadnc

    I imagine the residents of Montford will be surprised to learn that there is no place in their neighborhood for bed-and-breakfast inns. Perhaps as surprised as they were to learn that there are apartment buildings in their part of town as well, back when there was all that brouhaha over increasing density near bus lines.

  2. Grant Millin

    Interesting ‘commons’ issue.

    Seems like some reporting on what happens in other municipalities when such zoning modifications occur would help.

  3. “Please let our commissioners know your view of permitting short-term rentals in your neighborhood.”

    I will let my commissioners know my view. I fully support permitting of short-term rentals in my neighborhood.


  4. Carrie

    I don’t see any of the reasons the author listed as being a problem, at least not more than any other possible home owner or long term renter.

    “Noise, late-night arrivals, the comings and goings of renters, prospective renters, cleaning crews and increased traffic ”

    All these seem like anything that could happen with an owner and not really that big of a deal. If a property owner wishes to rent his/her home they should be allowed to do so. Especially now that so many people are facing foreclosure and the money could help to pay their mortgage. That seems great for the economy on many levels!

  5. bill smith

    A lot of assumptions here trying to make ‘short term rentals’ into a ‘party house’.

    Does the letter writer yell at clouds, too?

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