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home : opinions : letters May 24, 2016

8/16/2014 12:02:00 PM
Letters: Who is right is best satisfied by what is right


In 1977, residents of the Town of Jerome, as stated in the original Zoning Ordinance No. 177 "found it necessary for the welfare of the Town of Jerome that a Zoning Ordinance shall be enacted" The Ordinance as revised in 1997 covered "imposing regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions" that very specifically describe uses of "land for trade, industrial, commercial and residential or other purposes". The Ordinance also prescribes "procedures for changes of districts, conditional use permits, variances and other permits."

Listed on the Jerome ballot of the August 26th Primary Election is Proposition 428, which references Ordinance No. 405, an amendment to the Jerome Zoning Ordinance. Ordinance No. 405 adds Vacation Rentals as a Conditional Use in all zones, which includes the residential neighborhoods. A NO vote on this Proposition will have the effect of rejecting this Ordinance and changes to the Zoning Ordinance and Town Code. A NO vote on this Proposition will:

Ensure that the current Zoning Ordinance will remain as written.

The Town Council will have the opportunity to develop an acceptable Ordinance to allow Vacation Rentals in the Commercial Zone as other transient lodging is allowed.

The owners of Vacation Rentals, a prohibited use in Jerome, can utilize the multiple venues available in the Zoning Ordinance to operate as a permitted use.

Over the past few years a number of property owners in Jerome converted their single family residences- houses and apartments into commercial enterprises i.e. Vacation Rentals. The Jerome Zoning Ordinance is very comprehensive and allows for a short-term rental in the Commercial Zone. The use is called a BOARDING OR ROOMING HOUSE, which is defined as "a building or buildings containing a central kitchen facilities and ... where lodging is provided for compensation with or without meals.."

As stated in the Zoning Ordinance, Boarding or Rooming Houses are a permitted use in the Commercial Zone. The ZO provides for both the use and the zone for this type of business. Unfortunately, this solution to running a Vacation Rental as a Boarding or Rooming house has not been utilized rather the VR business is operating in the Residential zones. Confirmation of the existence of Vacation Rentals in Jerome may be seen on various websites including VRBO, AIRbnb, Tripadvisor and Homeaway. Air bnb lists seven Vacation Rentals available in Jerome.

The current Vacation Rentals operating in both Residential and Commercial Zones will remain unregulated, a contradiction to the goal of zoning. (Section 501.C3 of the Zoning Ordinance).

The Jerome Zoning Ordinance is a very useful document that clearly states the rules and regulations of land use in Jerome. I have been on the Planning and Zoning Commission and found that the solution to most P&Z issues can be answered by referencing the Ordinance and without violating the Zoning Ordinance. There are multiple avenues available to a property owner to legally operate a Vacation Rental:

• Apply for a Conditional Use Permit,

• Apply for a change of zoning

• Propose to the Town a new permitted use.

I appreciate the diligence our volunteer Council has exercised to resolve the unregulated use of a single-family residence as a commercial enterprise. I hope that with respect and honesty the owners of vacation rentals and the Town will discuss openly this use of property without any claims of a violation of property rights, litigation or any other contentious means.

As said by Ayn Rand, "Any alleged 'right' of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right."

The current Zoning Ordinance and Ordinance No. 405 may be accessed on the Town of Jerome website.

http://www.jerome.az.gov/Town Codes/Zoning Ordinance/Amending Ordinances/Ordinance 405.

Margie Hardie


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Article comment by: Bright as a Small Appliance Bulb

What do our community services have to do with the constitution and founding fathers? If the fathers had flush toilets back then, would they block the sewer pipe at their property line, ensuring their pipes were private property and didn't touch the public's system?

When you flush, the contents leave your private property, travel through pipes that belong to all of us and end up in the sewer plant. Planning on installing a septic or blocking your sewer outlet at your property line?

And you'll put out your own fires and treat medical emergencies yourself? These services are the community's. Either put your money where your mouth is and purchase the sewer system so it's truly your private property and pay 300K a year for the fire dept which at present costs little due to its volunteers. Also you are able to get insurance due to their volunteerism.

I'm tired of hypocrisy when hallow rhetoric is spewed while the recipient bellies up to our community's works. AND DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IT!

Michelle Bachmann= 250K in farm aid. Rand Paul received half his vision clinic income from Medicaid and Medicare. And half the red necks in the valley are on the dole. I'm sick of supporting them. They need to continue to vote against their best interests and use their guns wisely to shatter their feet.

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Article comment by: Tired of Hypocrisy

Goldwater did not make private property that would be the founding fathers and the Constitution. If your name is not on the title you do not own your neighbors house and it is definitely NOT community property. Yes he must obey the laws and be respectful to his neighbors, but that is where it stops.

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Article comment by: Goldwater's New Wardrobe

Since the Goldwater Institute has determined that property is private and thus give license for owners to do as they please, the lawyers in Armani suits will be donning new wardrobes. Since private property owners are dependent upon community services like sewer and fire dept, the Goldwater gang will be taking responsibility for all the extra work the VRs will create.

Putting their money where their mouths are, they will attend fire school for a year and get certified to volunteer to scrap the unfamiliar in fashionable footwear off our unorthodox roads. The law team will be wearing white linen suits during the day, and baby blue silk pajamas at night. To become part of the solution and not the problem, they'll be thrilled to shut down their shops during the day and get up in the middle of the night to respond.

When cerebral deficient renters block the sewer, Goldwater will be knee deep dressing causally in Pierre Cardon. With tired backs and knitted brows, the gang will rethink the private property definition. Ah ha! Some things belong to the community and not the individual owner. Perhaps they will see that it is their responsibility to respect and care for community property. When hell freezes over.

Our fire dept is volunteer and to add more strain on them is disrespectful. Take responsibility and get fire/EMT certified or buy your own truck, put in a septic tank and then you are qualified as private property. A paid FD would cost 300K a year. I don't care if they are clad in white linen, they have no right to overwhelm our infrastructure.

Why should the rest of us bear the burden of these VR's irresponsibility? The FD report tells it all.

Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Article comment by: Juan Independiente

So you are saying Ordinance 405 was unnecessary? That Jerome's Zoning Ordinance, as amended in 1997, provides sufficient means for current Vacation Rental operators to obtain a permit or conditional use authorization and continue to rent their property in residential areas?

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