Letter to the editor: Deb Dodge

Vote YES on  Camden’s Article 5: Un-hosted Short Term Rental Registration Ordinance

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 9:30pm

The following is quoted from the stated purpose of the proposed addition to our Town’s Police Ordinance:

 “…The purpose of this registration ordinance is to safeguard the public health and safety of the residents of the Town of Camden and their visitors and guests while preserving the residential character of neighborhoods, minimizing nuisances, and providing equity with other residential and commercial uses…”

Article 5 simply requires that un-hosted short-term rentals register with the Town of Camden.  This proposal does NOT impact any home owner that lives on their property and rents out a room(s) or an accessory apartment.  This proposal only requires that investor-owned properties, used for short term rentals, be registered with the town.

 Why is this a good idea?

1. If you lived next door to a house that is rented out on a regular basis for less than 30 days, wouldn’t you like the town’s fire and police departments to know how to contact the owner in case of an emergency?

2. If you were the owner of an un-hosted short-term rental, why wouldn’t you want the Fire Department to know which rooms your guests were renting? With no host in residence, the guests in these rentals may be unfamiliar with where to go if a fire breaks out.

 3. While short term rentals can provide resident home-owners extra income to help defray costs of home-ownership, un-hosted rentals are investor-owned businesses that should be registered, as are all Camden lodging businesses.

 4. Registration will help the Town ensure that these properties are following our zoning and police ordinances.

 5. We all know there is a shortage of affordable long-term rentals in our community  How many of our houses/dwelling units have been taken out of that market? Registration will help the Town quantify the impact of investor-owned properties. 

 The requirements of this proposal are not burdensome or restrictive. It is a good step towards gauging the impact of short-term rentals on our neighborhoods and is critical to provide for the public health and safety of our residents and visitors.

Vote YES on Article 5.

Deb Dodge lives in Camden