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Rebuttal to claims that STR’s are disruptive neighborhood nuisances

In the effort to come up with fair and viable language for the three strikes policy under the short term rental rules and procedures revamping, I want to bring up something that is not getting enough attention. There has to be a way to fine the abusers that repeatedly and continually call in false complaints. I am in complete agreement that people who are experiencing real problems, and are actually impacted by violations due to short term rental situations, should have some way of making verified complaints. But sadly the real situation in most neighborhoods is that opponents have banded together and are making false and unverified complaints to owners of short-term rentals and their management companies. This has been my personal experience and I know others are burdened by this as well. Many times it’s people using their positions on the HOA boards to further their own personal agendas, bullying and harassing those of us that operate short term rentals.
If there’s going to be a penalty for STR owners and management companies for breaking the rules then there surely needs to be a penalty for persons who make false accusations and report non-existent violations.
People who live nowhere near an active STR are repeatedly making claims even though they are not impacted in anyway. Just over New Year’s weekend in my neighborhood the same person made four phone calls claiming there were too many cars, there were not, and complaining there was a party tent at one home. The management company sent out security and none of these were actual violations. The “party tent” was a guest barbecuing in the rain who set up a small tent to keep them dry while they cooked. This type of complaining is harassment and it is something that the opponents are using constantly. Management companies keep records and recordings of calls and can easily determine who these abusers are. I urge you to address this side of the issue. Moving forward there needs to be a fair and accurate way of adjudicating this complaint process and holding people accountable.
Another issue that the opponents keep bringing up is that STR‘s are actually businesses operating in their neighborhoods. The Oregon Supreme Court already ruled on this… The rules put forth by HOA’s saying no businesses in neighborhoods refer to retail businesses, with hourly traffic pulling in and out. Millions of people work from home… Especially in this pandemic… Is everyone with a home office going to be classified as running a business out of their home? Homeowner associations would have far too much power to start assessing fines to people they don’t like if we go down this road. Is someone who paints artwork in their home and sells it online or in a gallery running their own business?
Common sense is in short supply regarding many of the arguments the opponents randomly fling about. Please stick to the real issues and come up with a fair system to regulate and not eliminate short term rentals in unincorporated Lincoln County.
Respectfully,
Kelly Gresh
South Beach

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