Silke Pflueger: What does Council member Commendatore envision for Truckee’s future?
What has happened to our community?
Listening to Town Council member Tony Commendatore’s comments during Tuesday’s Truckee Town Council meeting made me wonder what happened to our community.
In response to complaints about short-term rentals during a COVID emergency, and suggestions to severely restrict them until this crisis is over, he responded that short-term rental owners are small business owners, and that if they can’t rent out they would not be able to make their mortgage payments, and Truckee would end up with a foreclosure crisis.
This statement is upsetting, wrong, and makes me wonder what he wants Truckee to be. Let’s take it apart.
Full-time short-term rentals are not small businesses, they are investments. And everybody who has ever made an investment knows that you can win, but you can also lose if your gamble was bad. Also, there is support available from the CARES Act, AirBnB, and several other sources.
There is no need to go into foreclosure, you can simply sell. And I say simply sell, because everybody who has looked at the Truckee housing market in the time of COVID sees houses sell in a few days, often above asking price.
Having short-term rental owners sell may actually free up enough inventory that the housing prices become a little soft, and this would be more than welcome news for our housing market, where local workers can’t afford to live, and business owners can’t find employees.
And finally: What does Mr. Commendatore envision for the future of Truckee?
Does he imagine Squaw Valley or Disney World light, full of hotels and vacation rentals, and no community?
It’s not my vision for us, and probably also not yours.
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