Vacation home rental questions

Vacation home rentals regulations got a workout last week after a complaint that the President of the United States was renting a property in violation of the ordinance.

Even as the county was determining that violation could not be substantiated, VHR ban proponent Jeanne Shizuru said vacation home rentals are “ungovernable.” That may indeed be true, but mostly on the level that individual behavior sometimes tends to be difficult to govern.

There are speed limits on every stretch of road in the state, but those rarely keep people from exceeding them. We’re sure that if there was a way to prevent the recent spate of motorcyclists zipping through the county at 120 mph that would have been enacted.

Ask Sheriff Dan Coverley about speed enforcement and he’ll tell you that most people only generally obey the speed limit when a patrol vehicle is in view. In the case of those motorcyclists, that doesn’t even seem to be the case.

Getting in a collision that could result in injury and death hasn’t stopped people from using intoxicants before they get behind the wheel.

Despite the multiple legal and medical ramifications of using heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, people are still being arrested and convicted of felonies for having the substances.

There’s even a question as to whether one of the cornerstones of our republic, voting, is governable.

So what do we do? Do we throw out all the laws?

The founders rightly struggled with these questions.

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and the next place, oblige it to control itself,” James Madison wrote 240 years ago, though we would edit it to say “people.”

There are technical issues with banning VHRs, not least of which is how to pay to enforce a ban, but the bigger question is not whether people can rent their homes, but apparently for how long.


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