Letter to the Editor: STR Elephant in the Room

We watched the YouTube livestream of the Sevastopol Plan Commission meeting May 11 and want to add the following comments:

• Where is the data that has been used to argue for the need to restrict the number of short-term rental (STR) days to one stay in six days? Please share. That seems to be the “elephant in the room.”

• How does limiting the number of STR rental days to one stay in six days have anything to do with concerns about loud parties, parking and overloading septic systems?

• What about focusing your proposal on the number of guests per bedroom in a given STR?

• We agree that if an STR is loaded with multiple bunk beds, the septic system would be at risk. Why is this not the focus of your proposal? Likewise, if you have an STR with multiple bunk beds, then that rental is prime for large parties, more cars parked in the driveway and the like. 

If there’s a genuine concern about parking and septic, then the ordinance should focus on the number of guestsnot the number of days rented in a given week.

• As a homeowner on Glidden Drive who owns an STR, we – more than anyone – have a personal stake in this to make sure that our septic is not overloaded, that our water supply is pristine. This home is our cherished family home, which we will be retiring to someday, and it is frankly offensive to even suggest that we have less than the highest standards when it comes to the families that stay in our home!

• Finally, we are already regulated: licensed by the state of Wisconsin, required to pass water-quality testing and a home inspection for safety. We must register with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and be licensed with the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. What’s the purpose of requiring another license besides collecting more fees?

We respectfully ask that you come to the table in good faith to discuss these issues with mediation.

Dan and Cheryl Reis

Sevastopol, Wisconsin