Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Tue, April 1 2014 at 6:15 PM, Updated: Mon, April 7 2014 at 4:01 PM
Ashland, Ore. -- The city of Ashland is cracking down on home owners who illegally rent out their homes to tourists.
Ashland's new Code Compliance Specialist Kevin Flynn said he's investigated nearly 200 property owners suspected of violating the city code since he was hired on in October last year. And as Ashland's busiest tourist season approaches he plans to investigate about 70 more.
"I reach out to them and talk to them. Some people don't know the rules they don't realize they're violating the code," Flynn said.
Flynn said it is illegal for homeowners in residential areas to rent out property to tourists for less than a 30 day stay. But it is legal under some circumstances in multifamily or business zones.
"Each property has to be looked at on it's own merits," he said.
Flynn said some homeowners do have the option to rent to short stay tourists, but they may face a number of obstacles depending on where they live. Some include getting a conditional use permit, a business license, and enrolling into transient occupancy tax.
"It's important that the tourists who come to Ashland are comfortable with where they're staying," Flynn said.
And Ashland Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Katharine Flanagan agrees. She said the city of 20,000 sees about 300,000 tourists a year.
And with Ashland having more bed and breakfasts than other Oregon cities she said there is never a shortage of places for travelers to stay.
"We create that experience with the sophisticated amenities that we have here in town," Flanagan said.
NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.
She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.
She loves skiing and live concerts!