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To Whom It May Concern,
Thank you for asking and also allowing me the opportunity to share my STR and COVID-19 experience as a property owner and a concerned STR patron.
In addition I have some concerns to address with the County that over lap the new STR codes, COVID119 , Seasonal Emergency Issues & Responses.
Example is : my residential loop street right off the HWY (minutes from 2 fire-stations- so why the lag) and if our emergency and county efforts are as such than how can we be diligent in emergencies more rural? My issues encompass: STR's, full time residence : all categories: elderly and house caught fire and did fire prevention- thank goodness , the house between mine and the house that caught fire does not do any fire &/or house maintenance (timber box) & a constant problem house with long term renters who where caught illegally STR profiting & possibly still continuing unethical practices (see below).
I appreciate the forum to do so as I have experienced some grievances and this is a nice cathartic way to express and share my real concerns. I also want to thank the ones who deserve credit (see below).
Just prior to the COIVD-19 news frenzy I was very focused on the season at hand.
It snowed over Thanksgiving and not again until recently. We have had a very dry winter start. I enjoyed not having to shovel, however I knew we needed water.
I hoped to get to see my dad (retired from US military, moved to Hawaii) and my mom (who has been in the mid-west and was going to fly over once I got situated with dad in Hawaii) this late winter season. I had planned all year to take February and March off to do so.
To my dismay, Placer County gave property owners new code ordinances for short term (vacation) rentals: (Noticed January 17 to be completed by March 31st). I found the County letter of Permit Update Compliance to be demanding. This was priceless time I should have been with my family. STR put me at health risk as the end of January and into March were not the right months to push someone like me to be outside working on fire codes, and unbeknownst, but to add to further insult next came the COVID concern! The STR changes are proven to be justified to me as they are most expensive for me, an individual (and more expensive than any other Placer County Individual business license fee and renewal). ( see my email exchange between):
From: J Swedelius [mailto:email@example.com]
From: J Swedelius [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2020 11:05 PM
To: STR <STR@placer.ca.gov>; REV Transient Occupancy Tax <TOT@placer.ca.gov>
Subject: Fw: TAX PAYER'S REPLY TO --- Re: Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance Update - continued
From: Doug Jastrow <DWJastro@placer.ca.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:37 AM
To: J Swedelius <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: TAX PAYER'S REPLY TO --- Re: Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance Update - continued...}
I couldn't believe it. We all had to readjust our next couple of weeks. I was just shy of depression because of all the fire turmoil in Australia; so I took it all to heart. We all understand the value of that. This postponement news was also disappointing to my family, whom I planned to be visiting. I no longer could make the dates because the County wants: subcontractor check list, fire codes, more fees for more permits, etc... all by March 31st. I have always been in compliance and good standing.
My family and I also understood the overall requests were for the most part for the right reasons: fire prevention is paramount and if my community who is renting STR also has to comply then that makes me happy that our town was being more stream lined with a focus on updated codes regarding fire prevention.
Fire prevention wise, that does make sense and it has been a dry winter, so summer seems fragile. I am glad though that I got busy with spring and summer outside chores and it does feel better knowing that a lot of us in the community are hunkering down for fire prevention. Cal Fire is very serious and using Australia in everything they want to get their point across with quickly.
My head cannot take much more of the government (& Smokey the bear) and pressing my fear factor as the way to communicate their point,. I took a day off from the news and it was the best thing for my headaches. I was exhausted the last few weeks and did not know how long it would take me because of weather on top of all of my original to do's and itinerary.
So, I got angry with the County for the exorbitant amount of work this caused: physical in the cold (risking my health) and expensive at a time of off season for me, very demanding with their verbiage in official letters and time frame! But I put my best foot forward and did the work, knowing that definitely from an environmental stand point I did agree that new code ordinances are a good idea here in the Tahoe and surrounding areas.
Next is from my economical point of view
It was quite the tedious,(time consuming (time is $), very frustrating process and also very demanding of a deadline. I was grateful we had a break from weather (no snow in the region) just so I would not have that chore on top of finishing the newest in criteria from the STR updates. I submitted my application and just received my Certificate from the County on March 9th 2020.
These pictures represent a few examples of how much work that was required in a short amount of time during the winter and we achieved that.