Dear Senator Mesnard:
Reference: SB1379 — I would like to meet with either you or your staff on SB1379 the important short term rental issue, and fixes to make SB1379 a better bill.
As a resident of Arizona, I appreciate your introduction of SB1379. It is a good beginning but does not go far enough. Residents need and want local control for their neighborhoods. Local control is what the Republican platform is for, stating: “Homeownership… means a decent place to live, a safe place to raise kids, a welcoming place to retire.” and “Zoning decisions have always been, and must remain, under local control.” SB1379 could be in trouble.
SB1379 can be made a success, and a “residents” bill, by restoring local control and trusting local control to protect all the “people” in our great state and ensure they can continue to benefit from decent, safe, and welcoming places to live.
Local control responds to the “residents” and people and ensures the integrity of homeownership. Mayors representing over half the state’s population have expressed opposition to SB1379 because it does not restore local control. The STR industry has already proven untrustworthy and ineffective, and SB1379 is currently seen as an “industry bill,” that does not restore local control but rewards the STR industry and only makes things worse for residents.
The residents are, “The Unrepresented Stake Holders” and “the victims,” being disrupted and damaged, where they live, by STRs, not those quietly residing elsewhere: investors, traveling public, online operators, tourism industry, lobbyist.
Residents’ problems are only going to worsen as STRs replace neighbors and change residential zones of neighbors into lodging zones of transients and neighborhoods that are no longer decent, safe, and welcoming places to live.
STRs are horrendous, especially if you happen to live near one, and no one wants to live next to an STR.
Private property rights are important, but whose, residents experiencing STR caused disruptions or STR industry wanting to make a buck at their expense?
Private property rights do not include rights to cause disruption or damage to other residents’ property rights to decent, safe, and welcoming places to live, as STRs do. The STR industry, and their lobbyists, claim they are for property rights and for families, yet their actions show disdain and disrespect for the property rights of families and residents, and their neighborhoods. Local control is for the residents.
“Whole house” STRs have large transient lodging capacities and there’s no onsite owner presence to manage disruptive behavior. These are the main culprits making moms are afraid to let children play outside, neighbors leave, and neighborhoods ruined.
The positions of the STR industry, Airbnb, and their lobbyist are “anti-family”, “anti-community”, “anti-neighborhood” and “anti-property rights”, and deny that STRs; reduce affordable rental housing, negatively affect local economies, redefine home ownership, are tax parasites, and ruin neighborhoods.
Residents are looking to the Legislature to restore local control so they ensure they can continue to benefit from decent, safe, and welcoming places to live. SB1379 needs some fixes to do this.
Editor’s Note: Dave Mason is a resident of Scottsdale.