Yavapai County takes aim at short-term lodging<br>Zoning change eliminates daily home rentals

As a state representative involved himself in the process, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors made a final decision on "nonconforming lodging."

The board voted to amend the zoning on short-term rentals, eliminating an exception for residential dwelling units. The previous ordinance had allowed daily, weekly and monthly rental of residential homes in some circumstances.

The decision goes into effect in 30 days. Added was a section stating that a property loses its grandfathered rights to nonconforming lodging use if rental is discontinued for 30 days.

A furor over the short-term rental situation was focused in the Village of Oak Creek, specifically the Canyon Mesa Country Club. However, Supervisor Chip Davis explained that Canyon Mesa was not the issue.

"We have to be careful with our zoning," he said.

Rep. Henry Camarot, a long-time friend of Doug Ayres, who promoted amending the zoning ordinance, spoke to the board about the issue. He presented Ayres' arguments as Ayres was on vacation.

Camarot said he did not realize that short-term lodging and time-shares were such an issue for assessors until he joined the House of Representatives.

"I'm anxious to get all sides of the argument," he said.

Ayres had said the short-term rentals were devaluing property and introducing bad elements to the neighborhoods. He also said it created unfair competition for hotels. Some residents and real estate brokers in Canyon Mesa have long disputed that, pointing out there was not written documentation about fighting or assaults from renters.

The practice of daily rental at Canyon Mesa stopped in 1998.

Supervisor Lorna Street, the former county assessor, said she did not like any short-term rentals. Davis added that it was not a residential area if there was daily, weekly or monthly rental going on.

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