Letter to the Editor: Treat STRs Fairly

We are responding to Bill and Betty Parsons’ letter [Peninsula Pulse, March 19 issue] that repeated what we’ve been hearing for half a year. No complaints were documented in the papers I obtained from the Town of Sevastopol – only “concerns” from one neighborhood. The tail is wagging the dog. False facts are ruining the vacation plans of hundreds of families. 

The next two years of vacations will have to be rebooked, and half of those families will be shut out to conform to the six-day rule. Would you make people stay six hours in a small restaurant to kill that type of business and help bigger restaurants? Airbnb and Vrbo could organize these families to take Sevastopol to court for damages. The Plan Committee members do not stay six days for their own vacations. We asked them.

Hotels are pushing this law, so please support local businesses. This legislation is not what American fairness is about. If laws are beneficial when imposed on us, then they should be applied “beneficially” to all Sevastopol residences, hotels and resorts. The board has targeted only our buildings for this make-believe improvement. 

An attorney has opined to the Town in a memo we obtained through an open-records request that this could be litigated. In a letter to Sevastopol and its Plan Committee, attorney Amy Sullivan warned Sevastopol of this legal danger. Public officials are not elected to violate county law and then waste taxpayer money defending their bias in court.

Sevastopol is trying to cripple our attempt to offer an attractive alternative to a noisy, public, box vacation. Parents try to protect their children from disease and relax. 

This law is mean and unfair. Letters supporting it insult all of our previous guests and Sevastopol’s short-term-residence owners. Capitalism gave Americans the STR (residence) experience as a choice. Favoritism through government control has no place in this county or country. Wave to tourists with a smile rather than a snarl. They help to keep all of our small businesses afloat. 

Ray and Mary Spangler 

Owners of Mary’s Beach House

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin