Commissioner Weaver’s initiative to enable short term rentals failed to move forward at yesterday’s commission meeting. Below are thoughts I shared with the commission. Please extend your thanks as well to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor and Commissioners,
Thank-you to commission members Cruzada, DeCiccio, and Anderson for declining to pursue a change in our short term residential rental policy.
Most telling were the comments by those in support of the changes. Each of them, including Commissioner Todd Weaver (2 years of forbearance is meaningless), has a significant, and some, a professional financial interest in enabling short term rentals in Winter Park. Well, its not all about the money.
If short term residential rentals become legal there is no way to reverse course and no effective means to police those who will always skirt whatever rules may be established. Given the cost of enforcement, a financial justification based on fee and tax proceeds going to the “arts” is a rationalization.
The self-interested proposal of Commissioner Weaver and the favorable vote of Commissioner Sullivan demonstrate a complete disconnect with the long-term values of Winter Park. Most residents move here because Winter Park is a wonderful community to raise children in quiet and cohesive neighborhood environments. Short term rentals would greatly diminish the attributes we depend on for our quality of life and property values. Perhaps most importantly, the absence of short term residential rentals is a differentiator that adds substance to our status as the best place to live in central Florida.
Thank-you and, please, let’s not go down this path again.
Regards, Pete Weldon