Don't change rental rules
The Ashland City Council is considering a change to the current municipal code governing short-term vacation rentals (VRBOs) in our Residential 2 and 3 zones allowing owners to live off-site. I am concerned that this will have long-term negative affects on our city.
Among other impacts, it has the potential to turn our neighborhoods into ghost towns where only tourists live in the summer, are empty in the off season and where the owners live elsewhere. Just look at the examples such as Vail and Aspen where the cities did not stop the unbridled growth of vacation rentals.
Contrary to what Mr. Manzone stated in his letter of July 24 that we do not have VRBOs in Ashland, we have more than 60 licensed VRBOs, including my own. What Mr. Manzone neglects to say is that he is operating an unlawful VRBO in a Residential 1 zone in Ashland where they are prohibited. He has been told by the city to cease operation, but instead of stopping, he and others like him would like the city to change the laws for his continued personal gain.
The current Ashland law requiring VRBO owners to live on-site works well to protect our city from turning into an Aspen. I do not think the city should change the current laws to accommodate individuals who want to continue their unlawful activities for personal gain at the expense of our community.
Lois Van Aken