Special to the PRESS
Yesterday at the Town Council Meeting two people spoke during the open forum opposing Ordinance Number 2012-18 that prohibits short term rentals on Beach Boulevard. One of the individuals was speaking for the family that owns the property that desires short term rentals and the other was an attorney representing this family.
I do not live on Beach Boulevard but often walk and drive down it. Ever since I moved into this area several years ago, I have heard nothing but complaints regarding this house being used as a party house. The owners are absentee owners and have never occupied this property for any appreciable length of time, if at all, since we have been here. I have observed the rowdy parties with the street filled with cars and a great deal of litter the following day. The example of this house and its use inspired the prohibition of short term rentals by my Homeowners Association.
The attorney argued that the property should be exempt because it should be legally grandfathered because of a past practice. This is the weakest legal argument that can be advanced. Many laws are passed to prevent undesirable past practices. For example, when an area becomes urbanized, it will become illegal to keep livestock or shoot firearms even if a past practice goes back for centuries. The spokeswoman for the family stated they wished to be good neighbors. Past practice does not bear this out.
I hope that the Town of Laguna Vista fights to keep and enforce this Ordinance Number 2012-18. If the Council decides not to, I hope that multiple law enforcement personnel park as close to the problem house as possible whenever there is a large party going on. They should go knock on the door and tell the party goers to turn down the music every time that they can hear it. They should ticket vehicles attending the party every time that their tires touch the grass when they are parked. They should issue tickets for littering every time a piece of trash hits the ground or front yard and is visible from Beach Street. There is always more than one way to solve a problem.
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