Earth to Sonoma County Supervisors: we have a negative vacancy rate, people living in trailers waiting for housing, and you are touting 30,000 new homes to be built while allowing vacation rentals to take even more chances for housing from our neighbors after the fire, for tourists. Is this governing or pandering?
EDITOR: I recently received a courtesy notice from the county informing me that it had approved another vacation rental in my neighborhood.
That means four of the six homes on this rural Guerneville road have gone from family dwellings to vacation rentals. I am saddened, even angry, but not surprised. A few months ago, when I peeked in at the open house for this dwelling, I heard the Realtors recommending it as a vacation rental.
Meanwhile, our county officials talk about providing more housing for residents, while they are busy giving carte blanche to out-of-town investors who are only interested in taking whatever they can from our struggling communities. Who elects our county officials? Who pays their salaries? The local residents or Bay Area speculators?
When I moved to this neighborhood, every home was either owner-occupied or a long-term rental, with a few used as vacation homes by families who owned them. Now, with this unchecked wave of vacation rental madness, there are fewer and fewer places for residents to rent or buy. Apparently our county supervisors don’t have any interest in putting the brakes to this hemorrhaging of housing stock.