STVRs Aren't The Biggest Problems In Communities

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Dear Commissioner,

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my email. My name is Logan Wells and I have been operating a short term rental since the summer of 2021 in Falling Water.

In the last three years we have had close to 100 guests, and we have never had an issue or complaint from anyone in the community. We have had family after family stay in the house and spend money on tourism in the city. Our guests are constantly asking us for recommendations on restaurants, hiking, activities with kids, and so much more. Our family of five only books short term rentals when we travel as they make the most sense for families with kids.

We have recently complied with the new regulations that you all put in place last year and received our permit to operate our short term rental in the county. In that process we spent $5,000 on new windows as well as close to $1,500 on the permit, septic tank pumping, new smoke alarms and more. To then outlaw short term rentals less than six months later is unethical.

The vote to ban all short term rentals in Hamilton County feels like a knee jerk reaction to a small minority that is loud in the community. I understand that short term rentals can have renters that can cause issues to the neighborhood but the same is true for long term renters. I would even argue that long term renters are a bigger issue for a neighborhood as they are usually signed on for a year minimum and care less about taking care of the yard and house which is evident in Falling Water.

I would implore you all to not appease the mob mentality that is trying to push for a rash reaction on this issue. The county has spent time and money to set up a system for short term rentals, and we need to let it play out. This is a very slippery slope that our country as a whole has fallen victim to in the last few years. I would hope you would at least consider keeping the current regulations for a year to see how this plays out.

I would ask you all to focus on regulations for dilapidated homes and overgrown yards in Hamilton County. My parents are third generation Falling Water residents, and they love their area. Falling Water is a beautiful community that is being held back by abandoned homes and long term rentals, not short term rentals. I’m sure this is true for many other neighborhoods in Hamilton County. I would love to discuss further on the phone or meet in person.

Logan Wells

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