For the publisher:
I was a leasing specialist with Island Realty for 18 years, but I no longer have any financial interest or agenda regarding the proposed Short Term Leasing Ordinance.
While there are some aspects of the proposal that I agree with, there are others that can be attributed to a lack of information and misperceptions based on isolated anecdotal evidence.
Most short-term tenants are either families with young children or retired couples who often bring their children and grandchildren. These mostly affluent families support our businesses and spend freely while they are here. Young singles in the bar scene tend to go to Narragansett or Newport because they find our island way too boring.
A quick check of police records should confirm that there are less than a handful of tenants disturbing neighbors. I would be surprised if the proposed “Complaints Hotline” is used more than once for something important.
The reduction in the number of short-term rental units is unlikely to impact housing affordability, as the most affordable units on the island are neither on the water’s edge nor with views of the sea. water in the Shores, and with a few exceptions, they are also the least popular for vacation rentals. As a result, there is negligible competition between buyers who want to occupy these homes and those who are looking for a rental investment opportunity.
Over time, the number of short term rentals remains within a limited range and there is no reason to believe that it will increase. In fact, the dramatic increase in the price of island single-family homes will likely hamper available rentals, so there shouldn’t be any negative impact on neighborhoods.
Jamestown doesn’t have an uncontrollable short-term rental problem. In some ways, this is a solution to finding a significant problem. A rent ordinance is clearly needed, but I urge city council to resist the temptation to over-regulate. Less can be more with the option of additional layouts later. Let’s be welcoming by sharing the island we love with those who come to visit it, if only for a summer week or two.