Letter: In Support of the Revised STL Ordinance

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We should not be deceived by the argument that allowing Short Term Lodging in a residential neighborhood will help keep the wolf from the door of some poor property owner who just needs a little extra income. I think we are more likely to see the transformation of family homes into an investment asset by speculators who know the math of jacking up rents by the day or week is a bigger return on investment than renting by the month. This is especially true in a beach community that spends an extraordinary amount of money to attract even more tourists than the city can handle now.

It has been shown that the availability of long-term housing diminishes in municipalities where the Airbnb business model moves in. It is not surprising that Airbnb is worth about $38 billion with over five million hosts all over the world. Their value depends on maintaining and accumulating more. To characterize these short-term rental properties as anything but pure commercialism is to ignore this fact. They are income-producing entities without the controls that apply to similar business platforms.

It used to be said one’s home is “their” castle. Our residential neighborhoods provide the heart of our community. Neighbors that have made long-term commitments to raising families, pay taxes, and have earned equity in the place they live should not have to watch their neighborhoods disintegrate into tourist fun zones for the sake of an easy buck.

Cindalee Penney Hall, Laguna Beach

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Cindalee Penney Hall –

    Do you actually believe what you just stated? Do you honestly believe that our neighborhoods have disintegrated into tourist fun zones for the sake of an easy buck?

    Let us not forget that we live in a bubble. By normal American standards, you have to be sort of rich to live in Laguna Beach. Living in a multi-million dollar home with an ocean view, at an affordable price is not a human right, after all.

    What a person does with their private property is none of your business or mine. Folks have opened up their homes to borders since the beginning of time. The big money interests that are manipulating certain residents to fight allowing AirBnb situations to exist in Laguna Beach are the multi-billion dollar hotel properties.

    Don’t be fooled into being their pawn. Use some common sense.

  2. Let us be a little open-minded about both short and long term rentals. I have properties for both usage and to be fair, home owners that are working with airbnb & VRBO do pay property taxes as well as business taxes which all goes back into the community. In addition, we are drawing tourists into the community one way or another, who are the same people who are sitting next to you in any restaurants or public areas. This “bubble” that we live in is Laguna Beach, one of the most well-known tourist regions of the nation so its almost understood that you will be dealing with tourists one way or another. I also believe that home owners also have the rights to implement rules for their homes which I have done so my potential guests understand what kind of neighborhoods they are signing up and to be considerate for those around them. Lastly, the beauty in short term vacation rental is that no one is stuck with anyone person or family if there was truly a conflict; which can very well happen in long term rentals.

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