Discussions on whether and how Asheville should regulate short-term lodging in residential neighborhoods will return to City Council on Tuesday, April 25.
“Many people believe, as I do, that the majority of City Council members have been influenced by the hotel lobby — the elephant standing in the city’s living room.”
“Building ADUs to rent to tourists will ultimately increase the city’s long-term housing stock at no cost to taxpayers.”
“Deplorably, the writer supporting short-term rentals is ignorant about what the untold value of a good neighbor is, the immeasurable effect a close neighborhood has on one’s quality of life, and how short-term rentals contribute to anxiety, malaise and most likely to lowering home values in the area.”
“There must be other avenues City Council could consider that allow responsible property owners with STRs a much-needed income.”
“I believe that there is so much fear about noise and crowded streets filled with short-term renters’ cars, and it is unfounded.”
In December last year, City Council directed city staff to analyze the potential impact of expanding the city’s homestay program for short-term rentals to separate living units known as ADUs. Six months later, much more information is available, but little if any consensus has emerged from the process. On May 17, Council will vote on a measure to allow homestays in ADUs, but the outcome of that vote is up in the air, meaning that another long night of testimony on the issue seems inevitable.
“No one should have the right to open a hotel-like business in a family-zoned neighborhood unless a zoning variance is issued.”
“Asheville, I am greatly disappointed that you would allow this to happen.”
“It seems that legalization and good regulation is a much more reasonable approach to the situation than hiring a person to seek us out and impose hefty fines.”
“Knee-jerk legislation like the Airbnb ban in residential neighborhoods only helps the big hotel business and my Council should represent me, not Marriott.”
From real estate investors to neighborhood advocates to homeowners trying to make ends meet, just about everyone in Asheville has a dog in the ongoing fight over short-term vacation rentals. At the Tuesday, Aug. 25 Asheville City Council meeting, citizens representing a variety of viewpoints crowded City Hall.
“Creating meaningful tourism creates closeness with the visitors and a connection to the community visitors would otherwise miss out on.”
“[Short-term rentals] threaten to commercialize and disrupt residential neighborhoods which, for most of us, represent the largest investments we will ever be make.”
“I seriously doubt that the [short-term rentals] 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 city has created a climate of fear and mistrust among neighbors [for short-term rentals]. The fines of $100 per day have been levied, and people have been put out of business, losing a vital level of income in some cases that allowed them to stay in their houses.”
Asheville’s status as a top tourist destination has sparked a boom in vacation lodging, including short-term rentals and homestays as well as hotels. Amid considerable controversy, local listings on Airbnb have skyrocketed in recent months.
“As long as those who rent out rooms pay the same taxes (room and sales tax) as the hotels do, they should be allowed to supplement their income in an area that has become unaffordable to live in by folks who live here full time.”
It’s not yet clear what action Asheville City Council members will take on short-term rentals, but Council is leaning toward stiffer fines, stricter enforcement and a continued ban in residential areas.
One commenter at the March 24 public forum on short-term rentals in Asheville likened outlawing the practice to the war on drugs, or teaching teenagers abstinence to prevent pregnancy.