Letter to the Editor

Textbook democracy

San Luis ObispoNovember 15, 2013 

The San Luis Obispo City Council’s treatment of the vacation rental ordinance was a textbook example of democracy at work. At a recent study session, our SLO leaders listened to constituents’ concerns and crafted practical solutions that distinguish between homeowners renting to guests in their primary residence and short-term vacation rentals by absentee owners. What could have been a protracted battle was handled in a streamlined, common-sense manner.

The old joke is that observing laws being made is like watching somebody make sausage — kind of a scary prospect. Not so this time. The council worked to incorporate the best parts in its product and left the rest of the meat out of the sausage. The group SLO Hosts made excellent presentations that addressed the council’s thoughtful concerns about housing, neighborhood wellness and fairness to hotels, among others. A few will be disappointed, but most will see the wisdom of council’s action. There is still work to do in drafting an ordinance. Meanwhile, congratulations to all for a job well done.

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