Letter to the Editor: Countywide short-term rental regulations need to be kept in check

While all residents eagerly await effective workforce housing solutions, the Summit County Board of Commissioners’ decision to impart a nine-month moratorium on short-term rental licenses is excessive and unfounded.

With no notice, other than their monthly meeting posting, they appeared to have already made their decision and wanted to avoid hearing public opinion on the moratorium. Thankfully, a local leader emailed many parties and with one-day notice. Over 100 people showed up, in person or online, to express concerns about this drastic measure. Current restrictions have only been in place since December. 

Commissioners should have considered the current real estate market, which has the highest inventory since 2019, as well as homeownership rights. For example, full-time homeowners who used to be able to short term rent rooms to help pay their mortgage are being financially impacted. The commissioners appear to be making blind-folded, dart-throwing decisions, creating more problems than they solve. I’m not an attorney, but these ill-informed actions seem to be ripe for a class action homeowner lawsuit against the county.

My greatest concern is that there’s no statistical evidence to support the commissioners’ theory that short-term rental restrictions positively contribute to more work force housing. A quote from a Summit Daily News article published May 6, 2022 supports this opinion and illustrates that the Commissioners are aware that their measures are not producing the desired results:

“During the May 3 meeting, commissioners learned that the new regulations ‘are having a limited, if any, impact on short-term rental growth’ in its new neighborhood overlay zones, according to the presentation. These neighborhood zones are where, historically, the majority of the county’s workforce lives.” 

If you have been negatively impacted or do not support the commissioners’ direction, please make your opinion known in the November elections.

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