Salt Lake County officials may soon find themselves in court trying to explain why they don't want people renting houses for fewer than 30 days, angry homeowners say.
But their equally angry neighbors say the county should keep expensive houses from becoming mini-hotels that ruin property values and encourage loud parties.The County Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to outlaw short-term rentals in residential areas of the unincorporated county. The matter will automatically be sent to the County Commission for a final decision.
The issue has pitted neighbor against neighbor in many exclusive areas, mostly near canyons.
Some homeowners say they could not afford their houses if they were forbidden to rent to skiers and other vacationers. They said Tuesday that the county has no right to restrict what they do with their property.
But other homeowners claim their neighborhoods are plagued with loud, all-night parties and so many cars parked along curbs that garbage trucks can't enter the street. Their complaints prompted the proposed county law.
"If a person applied to build a hotel in these areas, they would be denied," said Siegfried Jachmann, noting his neighbor regularly rents to skiers and other vacationers. "We never know from day to day who's living next door.
"The problem is worse in the summertime than it is in the winter."
Jachmann handed planners a petition signed by many of his neighbors. Several other residents voiced similar concerns.
But Frank Tuft and other property owners who regularly sublet their houses near the canyons said the move would hurt tourism and deprive people of the right to control their land. County ordinances prohibit loud parties at late hours, they said. People who can't sleep should call the sheriff.