Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals are commercial businesses and rules are needed | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals are commercial businesses and rules are needed

Tom Castrigno

The most complex area of the short-term rental discussion is in neighborhood zones. My understanding is that operating a commercial business in an area zoned as residential is not a use by right.

A clear, objective distinction between short-term rentals being operated as commercial lodging businesses and those that are simply offsetting owner carrying costs needs to be made.

Before considering any limitations on number of licenses, let’s begin by correctly applying existing residential and commercial zoning regulations. In addition, fairly treating businesses by applying appropriate commercial property tax assessment rates, and setting license fees in line with capacity and occupancy rates.

Nobody’s private property rights are being taken from them. This discussion is about managing the wide-reaching impacts that the explosion of short-term rentals has created in our community. Before the availability of online rental platforms, short-term rentals were handled by local property management companies that provided effective oversight. The location of short-term rentals was more focused in resort areas rather than residential neighborhood zones. Now, technology is enabling property owners to go into the rental business directly without the overhead charged by management companies. Operating a residentially zoomed home as a lodging business is not necessarily a use by right.

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