Print Homeowner asks for vacation rental OK
Written by Greg Ruland   
Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Nov. 21 to send a Verde Valley homeowner’s request to operate a vacation rental business back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further review.

Verde Valley homeowner Todd Shreve asked the board to except his vacation rental operation from county land use laws and allow him to rent his home to vacationers for periods of less than 30 days.

County ordinances normally prohibit such activity, but supervisors have authority to issue a use permit that allows it.

On a 5-4 vote Oct. 19, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended supervisors deny Shreve’s request.

Citing unspecified technical defects in the process so far, supervisors directed the commission Nov. 21 to review the request again, preferably at its next meeting Friday, Dec. 23.

Shreve did not fare well before the commission in October. In a split vote, five commissioners — Curt Garner, Joan McClelland, Curtis Lindner, Al Wood and William Tex Province — recommended his request be denied.

The quintet cited two reasons for denial: A rental business is not a fit use for property in a residential neighborhood; and an expected increase in local traffic would disrupt neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their property.

Four commissioners — Chairman Jim Stewart, Vice Chairman Tom Reilly, Gene Kerkman and Joe Jackson — voted in favor of Shreve’s proposal.

Taken to the extreme, Shreve’s request would conceivably allow 480 people per month, 5,660 per year, to rent the home, according to Garner.

Estimating 25 percent of the guests would operate a single vehicle, Garner said as many as 1,000 vehicles per year might make two trips a day on local roads, a significant impact, Garner told the commission Oct. 21.

Shreve argued a more reasonable number for annual occupancy would be 500, not 5,660. Applying the 25 percent rule, only 100 cars per year could reasonably be expected, he said.

Though he ultimately voted in favor of the proposal, Kerkman said he was concerned because it appeared to grant Shreve an unfair commercial advantage.

Residential property used for commercial purposes but not assessed as a commercial property gets an unfair competitive advantage in relation to other lodging businesses, he said.

Community Development Director Steve Mauk told commissioners Shreve’s property would be assessed based on commercial tax rates. Shreve would also be required to collect sales tax, Mauk said.

Shreve’s property is situated near the intersection of Tomahawk Pass and Medicine Wheel Lane in an unincorporated area between the cities of Sedona and Cottonwood.