Airbnb BS

I’m noticing an increasingly strident group of Airbnb and other short-term rental (STR) owners argue against new regulations. They are spinning the issue cleverly, but I don’t buy it.

Among them is Kate Davidson, who recently announced her candidacy for City Council, Ward 2. I challenge her to be more transparent about her own STR investment(s).

One thing Davidson and her cohort are saying is that they don’t need regulations because neighbors can simply talk to each other and solve problems themselves. Are they really this naive?

Nightmare scenarios are already happening in Eugene, with more are coming if we aren’t proactive. Imagine: the World Athletics Championships are drawing near, and suddenly you find that Airbnbs and short-term rentals are popping up all around you.

Imagine a doubling, tripling of cars coming and going on your street, clogging parking spaces. Imagine party houses with a revolving series of guests each week. You try to complain to the owner — but the owner doesn’t live in town, or does but ignores you.

You call the city, but the city can’t help because it doesn’t have rules in place to enforce. You’re on your own.

Our neighborhoods are treasured places, and we can only be good stewards of them if we welcome responsible Airbnb/STR owners while giving the city some teeth to deal with the bad apples. I urge Eugeneans to think carefully about worst-case scenarios, then call their city councilors.

Heather Henderson


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