Ponderosa Estates to Ban Vacation Rentals?

The Chiwawa River Pines neighborhood's discussion about prohibiting vacation rentals has been a hot topic on this blog and a heated discussion at the association meeting has recently turned into a lawsuit.

It seems that the Ponderosa Estates neighborhood aka the Ponderosa Community Club is considering doing the same.

Bill Griffin, current President of the Ponderosa Community Club writes in the September issue of the Needler, Ponderosa's online newsletter:

I submit that short-term rentals are not good for the Ponderosa because they destroy the members-only character of our community by introducing an element that has little or no understanding of our needs, that have no vested interest in maintaining the properties they are using or in preserving the peace of the neighborhood. They move in for a brief time, enjoy themselves and move on to the next place. Their neighbors do not know who, how many, or for what purpose these transient users will occupy the residence next door.

The message from the Vice President of the Ponderosa Community Club, Ann Ashford reads more like a public notice:

Hello Members!

This note is meant to invite you to a very special member’s meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to talk about rental houses and their involvement in the Ponderosa Community Club. We would like to talk about the negative and the positive experiences that you have had with renters, landlords, and rental properties.

We would like to discuss how they benefit our community and change our community. Please think about the experiences you have had personally, and come ready to discuss and share your concerns and praises. We would really like to hear from full time residents, part time residents, rental landlords and any members of the Club who have opinions.

This is meant to be an open time to discuss everything that is happening with rentals, without the time constraints of a board meeting. The Board has a lot of decisions to make regarding the rules of the Ponderosa Community Club and we need your help to understand where we should focus our time, and which issues are not as big of a concern to the members. Please remember that each member has a right to do whatever they choose with their own property. We, as a Board, cannot change that. We just need your input to steer us towards the real issues at hand.

Thank you so much, and we look forward to speaking with all of you at the meeting.

October 10th 1 pm at the Ponderosa Community Clubhouse

I don't know if members of the general public are welcome at the meeting, but I certainly suggest that anyone who owns property in Ponderosa attend this meeting. I certainly know that home buyers considering purchasing in the Ponderosa neighborhood are anxiously awaiting the outcome and I know that folks who currently own vacation rentals should go and make sure they are part of the discussion.

UPDATE OCTOBER 2010

Apparently, Ponderosa Estates has decided to continue to allow vacation rentals. One of our dear readers, Mark, brought it to my attention that this decision was recently published online in the October Minutes of the Ponderosa Community Club Board Meeting .

Motion made that members have the right to rent their private property without association interference as he/she chooses either to rent or not to rent as long as within Washington State requirements and Chelan County restrictions – Jeanne/Daryn, all approved, motion carries.


Comments

Becky- thanks for your comments. Judge Chip Small has recently ruled on the Chiwawa River Pines lawsuit http://iciclecreekrealestate.com/2009/11/11/leavenworth-property-rights-fundraiser/comment-page-1/#comment-3256 It appears as though rentals in Chiwawa River Pines are now limited to those rentals 30 days or longer. I hope the folks in Ponderosa can avoid the acrimony we have seen in the Chiwawa River Pines.

Geordie, my husband and I own a cabin in Ponderosa and our income is based on taking care of those rental cabins and a few larger lodges which also rent in the Plain Valley. After speaking with several real estate agents in this area, I was told that though they have had buyers, cabins in Chiwawa Pines have not been selling because those buyers want the option to rent to supplement their purchase of a vacation cabin. Our small business and many other businesses in this valley are now being effected by Chiwawa Pines decision to ban the rentals (which had been going on long before their advarsary came into the picture). A long-time prescedence of cabin rental had been set, and the Board of Chiwawa Pines (who had a personal vendetta) chose to misinform the property owners regarding the few issues surrounding the renters (even though some of the problems were with cabin owners themselves) and ban the rentals totally ignoring the consequences of this action. I have spoken to several members of that community (some who own businesses) who voted for the ban but have now reconsidered, since they are now beging affected by the impact on this valley's recreational economy, as are many who are employed with taking care of owner owned rental cabins. I, for one, have a small business in Plain, and am now feeling the effects of this decision. Whether or not the covenants state no rentals, the agenda is to turn this area into a retirement community, so what will be left for future generations who want to come to this pristine area for recreational enjoyment? Al Lorenz so graciously told of the Manson proposal - could not this be a compromise to the Chiwawa Pines community?

PJ- Thanks for your comments. I have heard a couple reports from the meeting and both folks said that while the meeting was emotional, they guessed that about 2/3 of those present were in favor of allowing rentals in the Ponderosa, though probably with some new rules or restrictions. I'm happy to post a report from this meeting if someone wants to write a guest post. I'd be happy to share more than one report and get both sides of the story.

I am a cabin owner in the Ponderosa and I attended the meeting held recently as mentioned to discuss the members' thoughts on vacation rentals. There has been NO VOTING in regards to this and only a discussion has taken place. No further changes have taken place and the out come of the meeting was positive for vacation rentals. Please DO NOT misunderstand anything you read on-line it may be bogus. Thank you.

Geordie, The Manson Community Council is proposing in their Manson Sub Area Plan (a Chelan County comprehensive plan overlay for the Manson area) that vacation rentals will be required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit that has requirements for parking, garbage, occupancy, etc. It goes before the Chelan County Planning Commission for a hearing on November 9th and is scheduled for a hearing with the County Commission Dec 23rd. The outcome of all that may be interesting for other communities in Chelan County. You can get the documents that are before planning commission at http://www.propertychelan.com/Chelan_Real_Estate_Blog/?p=2180

Wow. That would certainly make some vacation homes unaffordable for some property owners. It's hard to balance the needs of a few with the wishes of what may be the majority when it has such a huge impact on the whole community. It would be interesting to see what a move like this has done to property owners in communities where renters are banned. I know that in the city where there are a lot of cooperative apartments and rentals are banned, the prices for these properties are about 10% less than for condo's where rentals are allowed.

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For over a decade, Allyson and Geordie have been serving clients in the Leavenworth-area real estate market. Together, they work tirelessly to stay on top of the regional market and present the most relevant opportunities to their clientele.

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