Point of View: Talbot County Must Regulate Airbnb-Type Rentals with Robert Haase


It could have been predicted that the thorny issue of some communities wanting to regulate Airbnb-type properties in their neighborhoods would somehow wind up on the Talbot County Council’s desk in the course of their work to update the County’s zoning ordinances or Chapter 190 of the County Code this year.

Not only is this a national conversation but the Town of Easton had just recently decided to place some restrictions on such use in 2016.

The Spy recently sat down with Robert Haase from St. Michaels to hear his point of view. Robert advocates for the permitting for all hospitality-related businesses in the County. He also speaks as someone who is a building inspector in his professional life.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Talbot County’s Chapter Revision project please go here 

Letters to Editor

  1. Chris F. Spurry says:

    Bob Haase makes an intelligent and compelling argument for the thorough and thoughtful regulation of these rentals in our county. Without guidelines and management, short-term residential rentals typically produce undesirable outcomes for neighbors and communities. As Bob points out, first and foremost this is a life-safety issue. And, right behind safety comes the impact on neighbors – noise, parking, trash, security, decreased property value, etc.

  2. Jennifer Crouch says:

    What is the difference between renting a condo in Ocean City, Scottsdale, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA for a few nights on VRBO, AirBNB or HomeAway and renting one in St. Michaels? Additionally while you are correct to some extent regarding short term rentals in NYC, you are off on your understanding of the law in the French Quarter. It has been illegal since the 1950’s and therefore has nothing to do with the ability to rent on VRBO, AirBNB or HomeAway. At any rate it is not enforced as you can easily find short term rentals in both areas. Which leads me to my next question. Who is going to be paid to enforce this law and where is the money going to come from? Our schools are in dire need of funding but it is more important to cater to complainers about some rowdy, weekenders?

    Doing research prior to commentary would give you more credibility in your argument against the restrictions being proposed on short-terms rentals in our area. There are certainly dangers however a complete ban is preposterous. Require short-term rental owners to screen candidates, have short-term rental properties inspected for safety. There is no need to ban what benefits our county as a whole. This is backwards thinking. I understand a local, full-time resident does not want to be next to a house full of guys down for a party weekend, but renting to couples and families is perfectly acceptable and provides much needed revenue to our area.

  3. I travel for work, often for extended stays. As an older single woman, I would much rather stay in a private home that has been thoroughly checked out and screened by both Air BnB or VRBO and myself for the neighborhood, proximity to work, and safety. I have stayed in hotels where the noise is much worse, the conditions are much worse, and there is no security. Traveling with computers and sensitive documents, I can be sure that I can lock the door and not have a housekeeping staff going through my things. It’s also a lot cheaper. $50 per night in some cases vs. $150 night for a sleazy hotel. You cannot legislate the behavior of a few unruly guests at the expense of those who utilize Air BnB, VRBO and other sites. St. Michaels doesn’t always have enough beds for the amount of tourists or visitors for larger events. I am sure the shops and restaurants would love to think that we could encourage people to stay and spend their money here. I have seen just as many rowdy “undesireables” in our fanciest hotels.

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