A recent letter about Airbnb and STRs (12/26) makes negative assumptions and rushes to judge people in the harshest ways. The author makes an emotional appeal about imagining “nightmare” and “worst-case scenarios,” but fails to support them with any facts.
Due to city staff doing an inadequate job of researching and presenting recommendations about STRs over the summer, the city council was about to enact severe regulations that would’ve affected the lives of hundreds of people. A small group of local hosts were inspired to gather actual data and to speak up for themselves.
The hosts who talked to the City Council on Dec. 9 weren’t “strident” or “spinning the issue.” Most were retirees, social servants, teachers and artists speaking about how their STRs allow them to pay their bills, keep their houses or educate their children. They recognize a need for the city to protect neighborhoods and were not advocating for absentee hosts, “clogging parking spaces,” “party houses” or Airbnb empires where neighborhoods are like hotels.
After listening, the council realized that they had been misled and, at their Dec. 11 work session, agreed to convene an ad hoc committee to document the local reality and recommend relevant regulations. The delay in the process falls on city staff and councilors, not on the local hosts.
With the need for evidence-based data upon which to make decisions, shame on the letter writer and the Eugene Weekly for inciting fear through misinformation.