To the editor:
As an advocate for long-term housing in the valley, I was alarmed and dismayed to see articles 4 and 5 included in the anti short-term rental print media that was circulated this week to the residents of Conway. Articles 4 and 5 deal with long-term housing initiatives and have nothing to do with short-term rentals. They deserve to be judged by voters on an independent basis, safely distanced from the drama and confusion surrounding the short-term rental debate.
Article 4 describes revisions to an existing special exception in the municipal code that allows for the conversion of certain older homes in Conway to residential multi-family dwellings. The proposed amendment includes language that specifically states, “short-term transient occupancies of less than 30 consecutive days of any dwelling unit is prohibited.”
Article 5 pertains to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). If adopted, this amendment would eliminate the owner-occupancy requirement for ADUs that states the property owner must live on the property full-time. ADUs cannot be used for short-term rentals as per the existing municipal code which states, “Both the primary single-family dwelling and the accessory dwelling unit shall be used for long-term residency, and short-term transient occupancy of either dwelling unit is prohibited.”
Both of these articles are crucial for the creation of long-term housing that the valley so desperately needs for our local workers and their families. It would be extremely unfortunate if Conway residents were to vote against articles 4 and 5 by confusing them with those dealing with short-term rentals due to the malicious actions of a small group attempting to capitalize on the strong emotions surrounding STRs to deceive voters and further their own personal agenda against long-term housing.
I urge Conway residents to vote yes on articles 4 and 5 to promote sustainable long-term housing in the valley.