Short-term rentals, Adirondack revival

To the editor:

For many years, if I said to someone that my family owned a summer house (camp) in the Adirondacks, they would ask, “Where is that?” Not anymore. The Adirondacks have been rediscovered. Just look at the record numbers for last summer. Whole new generations have discovered what I knew from childhood 70 years ago. Isn’t it fantastic?! Well, yes, but.

With this re-found fame is the dark shadow of short-term vacation rentals. Housing costs that cut out locals. Neighborhoods that are not, because nobody lives in a house long enough to know who’s next door. Jobs with no employees who can afford to live where the job is. You know all the consequences.

But what about your solutions? After reading the latest proposals, I fear you are treading very lightly, too lightly to do much good. First, you need to put a moratorium of at least a year on any new permits for non-resident owners. Cap the permits! Decide what percentage of investor, non-resident, transient owners you want. Then count what you already have and how many more to reach that percentage, and say no more.

Resident owners can rent within limited guidelines. There will be no cap on them. Finally commit to hiring code enforcers, and make the fines onerous. This works. How do I know? Because we did it here where I live in Key West. You are not the first to deal with this problem, so why try to reinvent solutions? Look to the places that have already figured it out. By the way, I never rent my camp.

Kevin Barry

Key West, Florida