2018-08-03 / Letters

Neighborhoods, be aware of short-term rentals

To the editor:

I’ve lived in my home in a residential neighborhood of South Portland for 47 years. There have been some changes as one might expect, but nothing as dramatic as what I’ve experienced over the last few years. Two moderately priced homes that a young family could have afforded were purchased by investors. They were then immediately gutted, flipped and turned into mini-motels. Renters were turned out, homeowner opportunities and hopes were dashed as those property prices skyrocketed and in one case nearly doubled. Homes and families have been replaced by an ongoing cycle of transients. Greed trumped need.

The South Portland City Council through workshops, public sessions and council meetings to hear concerns, revised zoning ordinances to clarify language and provide clear guidelines about what is allowed in residential zones. This was done to restore a sense of safety and quality of life that has been upended by unsupervised short-term rental businesses.

Now those marketers and investors have launched yet another petition designed to allow them to continue to rob neighbors and neighborhoods of their residential character, peace of mind and essential purpose. Many of these signature collectors are being paid to get you to put your name and address on their petition. They will tell you it’s about property rights. When did commercial rights usurp neighborhood rights in residential zones?

You need to know that your neighborhood could be next. Please consider that before signing anything.

Peggy Fuller South Portland

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