2018-07-27 / Letters

Don’t sign the petition

To the editor:

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor,

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?”

So sang Mr. Rogers back when everything seemed so simple, so sweet. Our sad reality today is that not all houses next door contain neighbors. Some are full of strangers masquerading as neighbors. The owners of these little hotels are selling out the neighborhood for their own enrichment, while those of us trying to enjoy our all too brief summer are left to deal with the endless parade of tourists.

The South Portland City Council has now, for the second time, passed ordinances to regulate short term rental hotels. To be clear, the new rules broadly allow short term rentals in an owner’s primary home. They have only prohibited nonhosted, whole house short term rentals in residential zones. These are the problem houses, the party houses, the strangers where neighbors used to live.

Unfortunately, a few greedy investors won’t take no for an answer. They’ve once again hired a crew to convince you to sign their petition. Please don’t sign it. You may think AirBNB and VRBO are cute, but so was the first Gremlin. Having already overrun the east side of town, short term rentals are now starting to pop up in other neighborhoods. Seriously, check the location maps on their web sites. It’s time to support the ordinances, support the city council and tell the greedy short term rental owners that neighborhoods are for neighbors.

Peter Stanton South Portland

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