Township officials in Palmyra-Pike will continue to work on an ordinance regulating vacation home rentals. Another resident came forward at the September 3rd meeting urging action due to a rental home next door that is being run more like a busy motel.
"It's like the Wild West in housing," said Rich Haase, a property owner in the Al-Wada East development on Lake Wallenpaupack.
While some of the renters are quiet and present no problem, he and his neighbors have put up with a continuous stream of short-term renters, who sometimes have parties stuffing as many as 30 people in the house. He said it is a five bedroom house meant to sleep 16.
One group comes in as another moves out. There have been bachelor parties and a graduation party with underage drinking. State Police have come out a couple times. Parties sometimes go on until 2:30 or 3 a.m. with cars coming and going, making noise.
There's not enough parking and they are found leaving their cars along Route 507, blocking mailboxes. About 25 people were there over Labor Day Weekend, leaving a large amount of trash to be picked up. He said video games in the basement are operated by putting in money. Boats, he related, may be rented by taking it off the damage security payment- though he said PPL does not allow the rentals.
"I didn't sign up to live next to a motel or hotel," he said.
Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Tom Simons, said he has a very similar situation where he lives at Simons Point.
The Township held a hearing on July 2nd over a proposed vacation home rental ordinance. Concerns were raised at the meeting by some real estate representatives. Supervisors were taking comments under advisement and have yet to take action. Supervisor Eric Ehrhardt thanked Haase for bringing the matter to their attention, which should help them in crafting the regulations.
Haase was told he would be notified when another hearing will be held so he can attend and make comment. His neighbors are welcome as well, to either attend or send their comments in writing, said Solicitor R. Anthony Waldron II.
The ordinance as proposed would place regulations on rentals based in part on parking availability and capacity of the septic system. One concern the Township has is its ability to enforce the ordinance, a limited police presence, perhaps on weekends, has been discussed.
Haase suggested that the Township look at taxing the rentals when they become a money making operation as he described. He said the question becomes, "What constitutes a commercial property?" Their deeds, he said, do not mention rentals but prohibit commercial businesses.
Page 2 of 2 - Al-Wada East is a small development of about 15 properties near the west end of the lake. Most are original owners.
SEE THE SATURDAY PRINT EDITION FOR MORE THE REST OF THE MEETING REPORT, CONCERNING OTHER ITEMS.