Don’t Legalize Commercial Short Term Rentals in Our Residential Neighborhoods

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Kirvil Skinnarland
Kirvil Skinnarland signed this petition

Neighborhoods zoned as residential in Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee, Plain, Peshastin, and Manson are seeing an explosion of absentee owner short term rentals. In the 98826 zip code (outside of the Leavenworth City limits) the number of short term rentals has grown from 59 in 2015 to 868 in 2019. Without an owner onsite, many of these commercial establishments turn into party houses renting to large numbers of people who have little respect or concern for the fact they are in a residential neighborhood where people live. This type of rental is markedly different from rentals of portions of homes (e.g., basement apartments) or accessory units when the owner lives on the property year round.

Currently, short term rentals in Chelan County's residential neighborhoods are illegal but they have proliferated because the county has not enforced its zoning code.

The County has introduced a short term rental code that would legalize both owner on-site as well as absentee owner rentals in all residential neighborhoods. We support allowing a reasonable number of owner on-site short term rentals but we are opposed to allowing commercial rentals in residential zones. The growth of commercial rentals (absentee owners) is driving up the price of homes for purchase or long term rental by residents of the County. Absentee owner rentals that cater to large groups belong in commercial zones. We must take action to protect neighborhoods and our housing stock for people who live here.

Please sign this petition and write to your Board of County Commissioners and ask them to stop the commercialization of residential neighborhoods. The only kind of short term rental that is acceptable in residential zoning is an owner occupied property.

County Board of Commissioners
Kevin Overbay
Bob Bugert
Doug England