Letter to Supervisor Potter from Cara Weston

Cara Weston

Dear Dave Potter,

I will not be able to attend the meeting on December 15th but I needed to still comment regarding short term rentals.  I have lived here along the Big Sur coast in this same home for over 50 years.  I have seen many changes to this area over these 50 years, but living next to a short term rental has impacted my life more than any other changes I have seen.  We now have strangers wandering around our property looking for places to hike or walk, we have people lost trying to find the rental coming up my driveway at all hours of the day and night, our road is extremely dangerous (Weston Ridge Road) and now we have people who don’t have a clue about driving these kinds of roads causing us danger and danger to themselves.  Many of these Big Sur roads where not designed for heavy traffic and especially not people driving them thinking they are the only ones on the road and what an adventure they are having by driving these roads.  There have been problems with noise, people putting on events at these rentals without the owners even knowing.  I encountered rental equipment trucks delivering wedding tables and chairs to one house and when I called the owner he didn’t know this was happening at his short term rental.  We recently had one neighbor decide to rent out his land for an event that helicoptered in 60 people for a sit down dinner in a tent.  What will be next????

When people pay these high rents for these short term rentals or events they feel they have certain rights and this causes tensions between the rental guests and the people who live here.  I don’t see any benefits to our neighborhoods or community with these short term rentals except to the people who are collecting the monies. 

Last week some short term rental people came up our road looking for their rental and proceed to go to the wrong house and enter the house without the owner being there.  This was all caught on a video surveillance camera the neighbor had in place.  This was very disturbing to me that these people thought they could just walk into anyone’s house like that.

The two short term rentals which have started up in our once friendly neighborhood of ten homes  are now causing tensions between neighbors as well as we are losing our neighborhoods and the community which we once had.  I live where I live because I want a neighborhood with people I know and who I can trust.  I want my privacy and now I feel like I am living next to a hotel.  I am sick and tired of this and all the talk and no action by the county to enforce these short term rentals.  Enough is enough!  Please think about the people who live here and want to thrive here in a neighborhood and community of people we know and care about.  The world is crazy enough and now we are losing our sense of home and are being invaded with the business of short term rentals.  These short term rentals are no different than running a small hotel in a neighborhood designed for families.  The situation of short term rentals where I live is an accident waiting to happen. It is just a matter of time before someone will get hurt and lawsuits will happen.

Why are we not enforcing the laws which were set in place a long time ago and now for some reason are not being enforced unless neighbors turn other neighbors in?  This is not fair to the people who live here and want to live in a place they can call home and feel safe.  Please the county needs to enforce the laws that do not allow short term rentals in our neighborhoods.  Thank you,

Cara Weston 12/14/2015