Addie Harris: Nevada City’s Airbnb face-off simplified
If you read The Union’s Nov. 9 article “Airbnbs: Nevada City groups face off over local short-term rentals,” or have been asked to sign a petition circulated by a group calling their initiative the Residents Protection Initiative, you may still be confused about who’s who, and the differences between the initiatives.
Though it would seem that these groups have a common goal at heart — legalizing Airbnb-type units in Nevada City — that isn’t the prevailing sentiment.
Nevada City Hosts seeks to legalize the majority of existing Airbnb-type rentals, while the opposing group seeks to eliminate all but a very few.
Who are these groups?
Nevada City Hosts supports an initiative that defines and regulates Hosted Short-Term Rentals.
They are a group of residents — your neighbors — who have the privilege of owning homes in Nevada City with extra rooms or guest units they wish to rent on a short-term basis.
Their initiative will be heard by the Nevada City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
We urge you to attend the meeting.
The opposing group is the Committee to Support Measure to Protect Neighborhoods from Vacation Rental Impacts.
The initiative they are circulating, which is backed by Nevada City Neighbors, is called the Residents Protection Initiative, and they call their units Home-Sharing Short Term Rentals.
They are now petitioning neighborhoods and have given the Union and Nevada City residents some incorrect information about Nevada City Hosts’ initiative.
Nevada City Hosts would like you to have the facts so you will make the right decision when it’s time to vote.
— First, Measure F prohibits whole house “recreational” rentals within the city limits (3-digit addresses).
Nevada City Hosts are not overturning Measure F.
— Contrary to Gary Johnson’s statement in The Union article, Nevada City Host’s Initiative does not permit commercial events to take place on premises, nor does it allow whole-house rentals.
Whole house rentals are not allowed by either initiative.
— And while it may be a matter of opinion, Nevada City Hosts would not rent their guest quarters to long-term renters.
Many are not large enough or suitable for permanent living.
They would simply go unoccupied and the city, merchants, and neighborhoods will lose revenue, income and needed tourist housing.
— We’d also like to address the issue of street parking. First, there are fewer than 15 short-term guest rentals in Nevada City that the Hosts could identify.
Of the known Hosts, 80 percent have off-street parking.
It simply should not be an issue.
It’s a shame that a group with no vested interest except to prevent positive change and to control with a restrictive tight-hold, goes full-throttle to misrepresent and oppose a very reasonable, progressive initiative that will bring benefits to everyone in the city.
Our neighborhoods don’t need protected from the quality of guests who chose short-term guest lodging.
If someone is knocking at your door, introducing his or herself as Airbnb-friendly, “just need more restrictions,” know that if you vote for their initiative it will do little to bring additional beds or incremental revenue to the City.
Please attend the Nevada City Council Meeting on Nov. 18 to show your support for Nevada City Hosts.
Addie Harris lives in Nevada City.
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