Opinion

Mason: Scottsdale STR’s identified as major ‘bachelorette party’ destination

Posted 6/6/22

A headline reads, “The Bachelorette Party Comes for Scottsdale,” to a short-term rental.

Not good news for Arizona residents living in family neighborhoods and experiencing ruinous …

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Opinion

Mason: Scottsdale STR’s identified as major ‘bachelorette party’ destination

Posted

A headline reads, “The Bachelorette Party Comes for Scottsdale,” to a short-term rental.

Not good news for Arizona residents living in family neighborhoods and experiencing ruinous impact of party after party at next-door short-term rentals.

The headline glamorizes Scottsdale short-term rentals as “party”/“party-hardy” locations but ignores the ruinous effect on residents’ neighborhoods and quality of life.

Short-term rentals are more than just a nuisance, it’s an industry that doesn’t belong in residential areas. Because, there is a dark side, short-term rentals business ruining residents’ quality of life and neighborhoods. Does anyone want to live near a short-term rental, party house or otherwise?

Bold action is needed either now or in the 2023 session. The Legislature can act boldly, and quickly, as it did in 2016, when SB1350 (ARS 9-500.39), a sweeping nullification of residential zoning, was passed with little thought and no impact studies.

Today, it is clear that too few anticipated the SB1350 (ARS 9-500.39) intent, to facilitate limited “home sharing” of one’s principal residence, would have become quickly co-opted by individual and corporate investors opening a plethora of, hotel-type, short-term rentals anywhere and everywhere. In the process ruining the meaning of resident and ruining neighborhoods. ARS 9-500.39 fixes are needed now, and there is no reason for delay or incrementalism.

Doing something means answering the question, “Who is important, Arizona residents and communities or the short-term rental industry?” ARS 9-500.39, by nullifying Arizona residents’ historical “property rights,” made the short-term rental industry more important than Arizona residents and communities.

Thanks to ARS 9-500.39, unregulated short-term rentals, bachelorette parties, and the like, are a growing and profitable business that, unfortunately, is having a ruinous impact on Arizona residents’ quality of life and neighborhoods.

SB1168 offers “incremental change” to fixing some ASR 9-500.39 problems, and may be of some interim help, provide the local control provisions remain.

However, incrementally changing ARS 9-500.39 only prolongs the damage when short-term rentals are so clearly a serious, and growing, problem ruining residents’ quality of life and neighborhoods.

Arizona residents do care about how short-term rentals are ruining their quality of life and neighborhoods, and do not care about protecting short-term rentals from regulation.

“Good for Arizona” legislation supports local regulation fixing ARS 9-500.39 to protect residents and their communities from unregulated short-term rentals.

“Bad for Arizona” legislation supports the positions of Airbnb and the short-term rental industry for no, or few, regulations for short-term rentals, and minimal changes to ARS 9-500.39.

Editor’s Note: David Mason is a resident of Scottsdale and a part of the city’s Short-Term Rental Working Group.

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