Mayor Caldwell last month rolled out two sets of proposals meant to protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
One is a comprehensive approach to regulation of residential vacation rentals. It would not allow single family homes to be converted entirely to a short-term rentals would allow them in resort districts and would have stiff penalties for violations.
The other proposal would crack down with big fines on un-permitted construction especially of oversized homes.
Both of these issues have been simmering too long – and they are related.
For years, the departments that oversee construction and permitting have been understaffed and toothless. That's allowed the vacation rental industry to become so big that any serious attempt to control it will literally lead to people losing their jobs servicing the rentals.
In our neighborhoods some homes have been allowed to descend into rat-infested squalor while others are replaced with unpermitted monster homes.
Given the impact of these issues on people and the economy, its time for the city to come up with clear, strong and enforceable regulations. That will require open and intelligent work by the council and the administration.
Lets get this done before its too late to save our neighborhoods.