Logan City Council holds vacation rental hearing – Cache Valley Daily
Members of the Logan City Council will seek public input on vacation rental properties at their regular March 1 meeting.
LOGAN — Members of the Logan City Council will welcome public comment on short-term rental properties in residential and commercial areas of the city at their March 1 meeting.
This public hearing, scheduled for 5:45 p.m., will allow members of city council to decide whether to endorse a recommendation from city staff on neighborhood uses or that of the Logan Planning Commission.
Logan City has few regulations regarding short-term rental properties that are commonly referred to as AirBNB or VRBO, according to community development manager Mike DeSimone.
“A short-term rental,” DeSimone explained, “is also often referred to as a vacation rental. (These properties) are transient rental units, usually in a single-family residential dwelling — but not always.
“They are rented for a period not exceeding 30 days. This short-term occupancy is perceived and regulated differently than a traditional rental, where the rental period is longer than 30 days.
In a proposal to the Logan Planning Commission on Jan. 27, city staff recommended a conservative approach to regulating such vacation rentals by allowing them only in high-density and commercial areas of the city.
Instead, members of the planning commission recommended that vacation rentals be allowed citywide, as they said the negative impacts would be minimal as demand for short-term rentals was not excessive here. .
The March 1 public meeting on the subject should help city council members gauge the reaction of local residents to these alternative proposals.
The topic has already been discussed in online forums over the past month, where landlord rights issues have been weighed against the potential negative impact on the neighborhood.
“I think as long as parking, noise and other ordinances are still enforced, then (vacation rentals) should be allowed,” Ashley Yates Nance said. “I think a landlord should be able to decide who stays in their home and what level of risk they are comfortable with on their own property/insurance.”
Local resident Scout Miller shares this laissez-faire attitude towards properties listed by VRBO and AirBNB.
“They absolutely should be allowed,” Miller explained. “I am a strong supporter of individual property rights and the right of owners to use their property as they see fit, provided it does not endanger the safety or rights of neighboring properties.
“The ‘could harm’ or ‘dislike’ is not a sufficient reason to restrict an owner’s rights.”
But other residents share city staff’s view that vacation rentals should be restricted.
“I support allowing residents to offer their bed and breakfast for short-term rental,” Daniel Thurber said. “Whole-house vacation rentals?” No.
“There is a big difference between the peer-to-peer rental model that AirBNB pioneered and dedicating a home as vacation accommodation for visitors. The first maintains the spirit of good neighborliness and provides a small stream of income. The latter exacerbates the housing shortage for workers and residents of the community.
In his January 27 memorandum accompanying Draft Order 22-04, DeSimone acknowledged that short-term rentals “…can negatively impact neighborhood character as the residential nature of a neighborhood changes neighbors long-term with a direct interest in their neighborhood to short-term or passing customers…”
“There should be a limited number of vacation rentals in each neighborhood,” Cole Checketts agreed. “Like 10% and they should be taxed like a hotel is taxed.
“We need to save as much as possible on long-term rentals because that’s what keeps a neighborhood stable… (Holiday rentals as well) target cheaper neighborhoods because I don’t see many of them on Cliffside or Hillcrest.”
Most Logan residents who oppose short-term rentals entirely do so because they are concerned about the potential impact on local housing prices.
“I’m far from an expert,” admitted Mike Johnson. “But from what I understand, AirBNB and other short-term rentals usually cause house prices to rise and housing supply to decrease.”
DeSimone’s memo also revealed that short-term rentals “…can negatively impact the availability and affordability of the housing stock by removing available residential units and increasing the cost of existing units. ..”
“Every day it seems like we look to California when it comes to housing prices,” according to Facebook user Rachel Willis. “Only the rich can afford a house now…”
“With our current house price situation, I really think we should consider all options to reduce house price increases, including restricting short-term rentals like AirBNB,” Johnson concluded in his post.