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Letter: The other side of Ogden Valley short-term rental argument

Jun 23, 2022

I’m responding to Jan Fullmer’s Guest Commentary printed on June 15, 2022 regarding short term rentals in Ogden Valley.

I like Jan. I don’t necessarily agree with her premise or conclusion.

I served on the Ogden Valley Planning Commission for 8 years. Also, I was the first woman chair for the OVPC. I was and am a property rights advocate. I understand how the process works. And I’ve served under several different elected officials.

I find Ms. Fullmer’s commentary lopsided.

Here’s what she doesn’t say. Not everyone in the Valley feels the same as she does or the organization that she’s aligned with namely The GEM Committee. There are many people who want to keep their homes but due to higher taxes (established by the State, not County) can’t unless they can leverage their homes and lands. The other aspect that she ignores is the tremendous cost of enforcement. It’s one thing to create code, it’s another thing entirely to enforce it. I don’t believe any of the current county commissioners are in favor of more spending, raising taxes simply to restrict basic property rights. Frankly, I approve of their stance.

Do we need better code regarding short term rentals? Absolutely. If we opened it up and made it reasonable, the income from applications could offset enforcement costs. As is, people are breaking the law, not paying the application fees, and we can’t enforce what is happening. And no, it’s not the sheriff’s offices job.

What I’d like to see is pretty simple. If people can provide off street parking and get a permit, let them. Let the enforcement be complaint driven. Attach penalties to homeowners who neglect sound and garbage code.

Regardless of what I want, the simple truth here is that there are many different opinions and I know our current County Commissioners are not in favor or increasing taxes or ignoring property rights.

Laura Warburton



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