Opinion

Pace: Fighting for Paradise Valley quality of life

Posted 11/20/20

Thank you for re-electing me and my peers to Town Council so we can continue to fight for the quality of life in Paradise Valley.

Last weekend, our town’s police team shut down four …

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Opinion

Pace: Fighting for Paradise Valley quality of life

Posted

Thank you for re-electing me and my peers to Town Council so we can continue to fight for the quality of life in Paradise Valley.

Last weekend, our town’s police team shut down four parties, one with over 300 people. Yes, last weekend. These parties are a weekly issue and a super-spreader of COVID-19.

We need to make our town inhospitable to those bringing short term rentals and party houses to our neighborhoods. We need to heed the words of our residents who asked our council two weeks ago to be more aggressive. I agree and ask my peers to join me in doing more than we are.

Many residents just received letters from VRBO asking to list houses for rent. Realtors caution that within a couple of years, our beautiful and unique town will be flooded with investors and short-term rentals and the fabric of our neighborhoods will be destroyed forever.

We have to fight now to preserve Paradise Valley.

What can you do right now about short term rentals?

  1. Add CCR restrictions on your property to restrict short-term rentals to 30 days or six months to avoid a revolving house hotel next door.
  2. Get to know your neighbors. Ask them to put a CCR restriction on the house prohibiting short-term rentals before the house goes up for sale. Or, buy the property yourself and place the restrictions on the property and then put it up for sale.
  3. Alert the police when you observe an unlawful party occurring. Watch for deliveries of rental equipment, valet, alcohol and bar set-ups, etc. It is sad that residents having their own birthday parties may need to take extra steps to get a permit from the town to avoid getting caught up in the party issues.
  4. Our town is restricted from implementing local control of short term rentals because of state law. The state law has to be over-turned. Contact Governor Ducey and your Legislative District 28 representatives to change the law.
  5. Sign up at www.neighborsnotnightmares.com to work with residents to help enact laws to allow for local control that can eliminate parties and abusive short term rentals from your neighborhoods.

What out-of-the-box ideas could the town implement right now to discourage short term rentals? Keep in mind these ideas need to be vetted legally and discussed among my peers. But, residents are tired of sitting back and waiting for a legislative solution that may take a year or more to prevail, implement and have any effect. Residents are seeking action today.

1.Should we have a town website that identifies short-term rental and party house violators and citations, including the contact information of the owner. This could be similar to municipalities who run a DUI or sex offender website. We could implement a “Shame on Owner” approach to let them know the behaviors in our community are unwelcome.

2. Implement ways to communicate PV is tough on party houses. List citations. List photos. List jail terms. List alcohol sale violations. List fire code and ADA public accommodation violations for too many people in a house being held out as a business. Deterrence is the goal to avoid businesses operating in our residential town.

3. What about taking photos of garbage piled on the street after party house events and then issuing citations for garbage and litter violations?

4. The town could work with a task force from the Arizona Department of Liquor to prosecute alcohol sale and distribution violations.

5. Should residents hire off duty police officers to serve as security and witnesses to help prosecute violations, interface with our town police, and address violators of trash, noise, drugs, alcohol, parking, prostitution, etc.?

6. The council should schedule a Town Retreat to vet options. This could be a major priority of the new town community development director.

I recently led the charge to stop timeshares and unlawful fractional ownerships. Thanks to a resident who tipped me off to a Realtor who listed a house for sale in eight ownership interests.

I and the town quickly educated the Realtors and got the word out that timeshares and fractional ownerships can be unlawful. We spread the word about how the Arizona Department of Real Estate views these transactions. HOAs are not immune from time shares and fractional ownerships and should consider revising their CCR’s.

Regarding re-election, I will continue to fight to:

  • Protect the mountains and scenic beauty
  • Work with the Paradise Valley Mountain Trust to preserve land
  • Stop short-term rentals and party houses
  • Work on the 2021 General Plan
  • Maintain fiscal responsibility and ensure no property tax
  • Continue to pay down the police pension fund
  • Celebrate our world-class resorts and restaurants
  • Support ethics, integrity and transparency
  • Continue to use my legal experience to reduce risk and liability
  • Protect property rights
  • Enhance public safety and security
  • Improve drainage and stormwater issues
  • Support responsible and reasonable development
  • And keep our town one house per acre zoning and limiting encroachment of commercial development.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Editor’s Note: Julie Pace is vice-mayor of Paradise Valley Town Council

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