January 8, 2017

Hon. Vice-Mayor David Briley and Members of the Metro Council
Metropolitan Council Office
Metro Historic Courthouse
One Public Square, Suite 204
P. O. Box 196300
Nashville, TN 37219-630
RE: BL2016-492
Dear Vice-Mayor Briley and Metro Council Members,

First, we want to thank you for the attentiveness you gave our concerns at the public hearing Tuesday evening regarding the impact Type2 and Type 3 STRs on our residential neighborhoods. We believe now is the time to address this
issue once and for all.

We do not feel the approach outlined in the letter from Councilwomen Allen and Weiner of January 6th addresses
the negative impact from STRs many Nashville homeowners have experienced for the past two years, which were described so clearly by speaker after speaker at the public hearing.

We believe this problem can only be solved by amending BL2016-492 to remove these commercial Type 2 and
Type 3 STRs from our residential neighborhoods.

Their letter raises the usual arguments against this Council taking any meaningful action on this problem:
• the threat of more lawsuits;
• the threat of action from the state legislature; and
• the threat of flooding the market with de-permitted STRs and thereby devaluating homes prices.
Let us respond to these three points one at a time.

First, Judge Jones has already ruled in Metro’s favor on all but one issue raised in the Anderson lawsuit, that being
the vagueness issue of the definitions between hotels, boarding houses, short-term rentals, etc.

Judge Jones said there was no pre-existing right for a property owner to use their property as a short-term rental
prior to the passage of the original STR ordinance in 2015. The judge also ruled that Metro’s 3% cap on Type 2 is constitutional and does not create an improper monopoly.

In his latest ruling on a motion filed by Metro, Judge Jones limited his ruling to just the Anderson’s property, leaving in place the regulations of the current ordinance. So now there is no need to rush through passage of BL2016-492.
There is time to fix the problems with our STR ordinance. There is no “legal limbo” as claimed.

Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. • Post Office Box 22057 • Nashville, Tennessee 37202

Page 2

Based upon legal counsel, we believe our current STR ordinance does not comply with the General Plan.
We further believe BL2016-492 does not comply with the General Plan. We would note here that neither the
analysis by the Planning Commission staff, nor a single Planning Commissioner in their deliberations mentioned
whether BL2016-492 complied with the General Plan. If you review the tape of the Dec. 8th Planning Commission meeting you will hear almost every member of the Commission express concerns about Type 2 STRs.

We further believe based upon legal counsel that the definitions in BL2016-492 are still constitutionally
vague. We believe removing Type 2 and Type 3 STRs from residentially zoned districts strengthens the ordinance constitutionally. Type 2 and Type 3 STRs are NOT accessory uses as set forth in the current ordinance and
BL2016-492; they are primary uses.

Second, we believe the threat of state action is diminishing over time. As more and more cities in Tennessee, such as Hendersonville, Brentwood, Chattanooga, and also across the country prohibit or limited STRs in
their community, the legislature will look at this issue beyond just Nashville.

We would also ask you this question--should the Metro Council or Metro government simply cease to act
on behalf of its citizens every time the threat of state legislative action is raised? We believe you have the duty to
act now for the benefit of Nashville’s citizens.

Third, given Nashville’s current real estate market, there is no evidence to support any claim that de-permitting a limited number of STRs will have any impact on housing values. STRs are appraised and mortgaged
based upon their comparable value to surrounding properties, not their income potential or cash stream. Type 2
STR operators would still have the option to rent their properties long-term. If they choose to sell, there are many
willing home buyers who will be glad to pay the current fair market value for these properties.

In fact, we believe STRs have contributed to Nashville’s problem with available, affordable housing by
helping drive up housing costs. The estimated 4,500 STRs, legal and illegal rent to out-of-town tourists, not to
Nashville residents, reducing our housing stock for both renters and home purchasers.

Furthermore, we recognize that in fairness current Type 2 STR permit holders should be given a reasonable
time to phase out their business operation. What we have suggested is amending BL2016-492 to prohibit the issuance of new Type 2 STR permits, while allowing current permit holders to renew their permits for two additional
years, assuming they stay in compliance with all regulations.

Now we would like to address the five “courses of action” set out in the Allen-Weiner letter:
1. We believe just amending BL2016-492 to place a moratorium on Type 2 and Type 3 permits and then
passing the ordinance does not address the problems some Nashville residents are experiencing now and
over the past two years. It would only prevent the problem from expanding. Moratoriums by their legal
basis must be limited in their time. Those Nashvillians who are having their lives disrupted by STRs need
a definitive action to solve this problem by this Council. They have suffered long enough without any relief
being given by their Metro government.
2. Increased Codes enforcement does not solve the problem of commercial businesses being operated in
residential neighborhoods. While we commend the additional Codes inspectors, our neighborhoods’ experience with the current management of the Codes department over the past thirty years gives us no
confidence there will be any dramatic improvement.

Page 3
There have been few revocations of any STR permits in the past two years. When non-permitted violators
are found, they are routinely allowed a permit without penalty. We have evidence to document where one
of Nashville’s judicial referees responsible for enforcement is seeking to purchase STRs as an investment.
We also still place the burden of Codes compliance on the homeowner next door. This ordinance does
nothing to change our complaint-based enforcement system, which is haphazard at best.
3. If Metro has been unsuccessful in shutting down problem STRs previously, what confidence should any
resident have that Metro will now ”focus immediately” on the problem properties. It sounds like a
hollow promise to everyone who has tried to turn in a problem STR. Metro’s Codes department and
enforcement process is like a large ship which cannot be turned quickly.
4. What does the phrase “in place for a specified time” mean? One year, two years? Some homeowners have
already waited two years for Councilwoman Allen to “fix” the problems in our STR ordinance. Some have
been forced to sell their home and move. That should not have to happen to any Nashville homeowner.
5. There is no firm commitment in this item to removing Type 2 and Type 3 STRs from our residential neighborhoods. How long is the evaluation period, one year, two years, more?

While we have great respect for Councilwomen Allen and Weiner, we believe the course of action they have
set forth in their letter to you falls far short of what is needed to address the negative impact of commercial STRs
in our residential neighborhoods.

What we would propose is the following:

Amend BL2016-492 to prohibit the issuance of Type 2 and Type 3 permits in residentially zoned districts.
Some language needs to be included to address SP zoned districts that are residential to ensure this zoning designation is not used to circumvent the intention of this action.

Current holders of Type 2 and Type 3 permits in residentially zoned districts should be allowed to renew
their existing permits for a set period of times to allow them a transition from their current business model. We
would suggest two renewals predicated on them complying with all current regulations.

We are not proposing that all Type 2 and Type 3 STRs be banned, only those in residential districts. Type
2 and Type 3 STRs are commercial businesses, they are not residential in how they operate, they are not accessory
uses to a primary residence. They should be limited to non-residential areas.

Many cities are banning STRs completely. We are not suggesting that course of action. We agree our STRs
need greater enforcement and certainly the illegal STRs need to be identified and permitted. But enforcement
alone is not enough.

Our residential homeowners should not have the enjoyment of homes damaged by the operation of commercial STRs in their neighborhoods. Keep in mind, as both the current ordinance and BL2016-492 are written,
EVERY home owner, yourself included, could have a commercial STR located next door.

We should not let the profit motive of a few hundred commercial STR operators be given greater weight
than the 200,000 homeowners who live in Davidson County.

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Our current STR ordinance should never have been enacted in its current form. BL2016-492 does little to
meaningfully change it. Only by adopting the amendatory language we recommend will you be able to address
the major problem we now have---commercial transient housing operating with little or no oversight in our residential neighborhoods.

We urge you to amend BL2016-492 to eliminate Type 2 and Type 3 STRs in residential neighborhoods.
Our Nashville neighborhoods are our homes, not hotels.

Thank you for your time and consideration with this important issue.


John Stern
President, Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, Inc.

Tim Weeks
Chair, Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, Inc.

John Summers
Chair, NNA STR Committee

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