Opinion

Junion: Scottsdale’s quality of life no longer guaranteed

Response to Beauvais

Posted 1/25/22

The recent opinion piece authored by Mark Beauvais extolling the benefits of short-term rentals to Scottsdale should be read for exactly what it is: a puff piece written by the short-term rental …

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Opinion

Junion: Scottsdale’s quality of life no longer guaranteed

Response to Beauvais

Posted

The recent opinion piece authored by Mark Beauvais extolling the benefits of short-term rentals to Scottsdale should be read for exactly what it is: a puff piece written by the short-term rental industry.

Mr. Beauvais is not a disinterested economist examining the impact of this industry. Mr. Beauvais owns and operates short-term rentals in Scottsdale and is actively involved in the association lobbying against regulation of these operations. The glaring omissions of this piece are the numerous negative impacts on neighbors and neighborhoods of short term rentals.

As a homeowner in the Old Town Scottsdale area, this issue is personal. On our short two block run of our street, there are three short-term rentals (one being directly across the street from us) and over a dozen within a half mile radius.

We have seen it all over the years: massive house parties, domestic disturbances, rowdy partiers coming back in the early hours of the morning from the Entertainment District, intoxicated individuals trying to gain entry to the wrong home and the debris in the streets from the previous night’s revelry.

In December of 2021, there was a shooting at a short-term rental house party less than a mile from our home. Not exactly the kind of headline one wants to read with their morning coffee.

I participated in Scottsdale’s Short-Term Rental Working Group to ensure the neighbors of these operations have the tools necessary to combat the ills of short term rentals. The voluminous response to the request for input from the community by the Working Group evidences the pervasive problems generated by short-term rentals.

The submitted input is available for the public’s reading pleasure. Mr. Beauvais would have you believe these bad actors are the exception to the rule. Those of us who deal with the day to day reality of these commercial operations in our residential neighborhoods know otherwise. Debaucherous bachelor and bachelorette parties far outnumber the demure family gatherings which Mr. Beauvais purports to be the majority of their business.

I have not been convinced there is a way to mitigate the disturbances and negative impacts of short-term rentals. Nor should the expectation be we, the tax-paying neighbors, must endure the continued assault on the quiet enjoyment of our lives and property. The very transient nature of these businesses disrupts a neighborhood.

Regardless of the best efforts of the operators and platforms, they fundamentally cannot guarantee the behavior of their clients. The short-term rental industry has proven they are impotent to self-regulate. I applaud the action of the city of Scottsdale to require registration for short-term rentals to hold operators accountable and increased nuisance fines which hopefully will incentivize better behavior.

Ultimately, this is a quality of life issue for all residents of Scottsdale. None of us made the investment in nice Scottsdale neighborhoods to live next to commercial operations.

As long-term Scottsdale residents age out of the established neighborhoods of the southern part of the city, investors and operators swoop in to turn those homes into yet another short term rental. With the continued proliferation of short-term rentals, we lose another piece of the community which has made Scottsdale special. The quality of life in Scottsdale we’ve enjoyed is no longer guaranteed. This issue, amongst others, must be a priority for city hall.

Editor’s Note: Travis Junion is a Scottsdale resident and homeowner.

Comments

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  • xway.mike.norton

    Mr. Junion's points are well made. Now consider the impact that SRT's have had on the rapidly aging population of Scottsdale. It has been 20 years since a Family-Friendly master planned community was approved for development in Scottsdale. Also during that 20 year period, STR's grew from nearly nothing to over 5,000 units (SAAR statistics). In neighborhoods where SRT's are prevalent, it's not surprising that famlies with kids moved out.

    Nor is it surprising that during that same 20 year period, population growth stagnated, and in particular the percentage of our population with children in the home first flattened out then started to drop.

    For ten straight years school age children have declined as a % of our population. In 2012, 0-19 year olds made up 19.8% of our population (already lower than most Arizona cities). Since then they have dropped an average of 0.5% of the population each and every year - now barely 15% of the population. At the same time, those AARP eligible grew from 35% of the population (already high) to 41% of the population (higher than any community reported by the State of AZ.

    This uninterrupted streak of "aging of Scottsdale" will be perpetuated without shocking the aging progress. Without restoring the prevalence of Family Friendly communities in Scottsdale, we will watch Scottsdale turn into the largest Assisted Living Complex in Arizona.

    Tuesday, January 25 Report this

  • BillH

    There is enormous and growing rage at what Airbnb and STRs are doing to Arizona. They kill jobs, lose tax money and ruin neighborhoods. It’s time our State Legislators start protecting Arizona residents and neighborhoods instead of STR investors and Silicon Valley billionaires. Reinstate local zoning, require platforms to verify hosts are licensed and registered before they can post a listing, stop the tax loopholes and giveaways.

    STRs can work out well if they fit within community standards. But Arizona’s prohibition on rules and regulations for STRs just makes for chaos and angry voters. Enough is enough!

    Wednesday, January 26 Report this