For more than a decade, leadership within the City Council has blocked bills to enforce our laws against short-term vacation rentals, and the illegal industry has thrived.
On Monday, Bill 85, with strong enforcement measures, finally passed. In a deft sleight of hand, by switching the order of the vote, the Council chairman ensured passage of Bill 89, which adds new permits in residential zones to the same enforcement measures.
Pro-enforcement Council members were forced to vote for Bill 89 or risk passing nothing at all. The bills conflict and only one can survive. Bill 89 opens the door for spot zoning in residential areas. The pressure to expand permits will be constant.
Only Mayor Kirk Caldwell has the power to choose whether residential zones are for housing or for businesses with no tax benefit to the city. Will he have the courage to do the right thing?