It is my belief the short-term rental issue comes down to three items that need to be addressed — additional regulations, greater enforcement and a 4 percent maximum neighborhood density. This is not a rights issue, not whether you have a right to rent or not. It is about what works when STRs are in R1/R2 neighborhoods, not commercial zoned areas.
Just like driving a car, there are rules that need to be adhered to for the system to work. In driving a car, density is addressed with traffic flow lights. Rules such as speed limits preserve our quality of life and safety. We allow everyone who is able to drive a car. But we understand that limits and rules need to be put in place for it to work.
Currently we do not have adequate STR regulations or enforcement. Few rules and one compliance officer for over 500 STRs is inadequate. A compliance program driven by resident complaints and enforced only on an educational warning only system is inadequate. License fees need to be increased to support a stronger, more effective enforcement program.
A 4 percent neighborhood cap needs to be enacted. Several beachside R1, R2 neighborhoods are over or near 50 percent. These are residential neighborhoods not intended to support these high visitor numbers. This high number of STRs in beach areas also has an additional negative effect. This lowers what rent can be charged — competing STRs on a race to the bottom. If neighborhood caps were set at 4 percent, these questions would not be asked.
We definitely have a degrading quality of life issue here at the coast, a place known for its quality of life. Think about this, if STRs were low-impact businesses in a neighborhood and were not threatening neighborhood quality of life, there would not be all this conversation. It is really a simple problem. Really! Three things need to be done.