Dear Editor:

I’m writing about concerns over the proliferation of overnight accommodations in residential neighborhoods in Grand County. The pressure from ever-increasing numbers of tourists has meant that nightly rentals (VRBO, airBnB and others) are popping up everywhere in our neighborhoods. Recently a couple of overnight rentals were established in our neighborhood, ostensibly as bed-and-breakfast businesses in order to get around zoning rules, but they are clearly not being run as a true B&Bs but rather as a small hotel and a nightly rental. Neighbors are realizing that enforcement and sanctions are not working and are not the solution.

Currently, no part of Spanish Valley is protected from tourist impacts; nightly rentals under the guise of B&Bs are allowed in all parts of the Valley. The City of Moab has already taken steps to protect residential neighborhoods and Grand County should do the same.

Restricting nightly rentals to the county’s Overnight Accommodation Overlay zone seems like the logical thing to do. This would not affect existing B&Bs, which would be grandfathered in. Our neighbor has run a genuine B&B for many years and it’s not a problem. But the B&B rules are being misused; nightly rentals are being called B&Bs in order to operate in our residential neighborhoods, and there’s no way to actually enforce these violations.

The simple and obvious fix is to restrict nightly rentals to the Overnight Accommodation Overlay zone.