PV Responds to AG Statement on Short-Term Rentals: Will the Powers That Be Listen?

Photo Credit: Arianna Grainey

Frequent readers of APG will remember how often we have talked about the problem of short-term rentals (STRs), how prevalent they have been in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley (as well as the rest of the state), and the challenges municipalities have had in trying to reign them in due to state law. There has been forward motion recently in PV’s attempts to control them, but the question still remains: will the people who need to listen actually listen?

On February 28th, State Senator Warren Peterson filed a request for investigation with the state AG’s office, requesting an inquiry as to if PV’s recent rules conflicted with state law. Town Attorney Andrew McGuire has issued a lengthy response outlining why he does not believe that the town’s new rules violate state law.

It is worth noting that Warren Peterson himself owns a short-term rental home. Should be be actively involved in legislative and enforcement of STRs? Isn’t that a major conflict of interest? Almost certainly, but that is not anything new to Arizona.

It is also worth noting that the changes to STR enforcement passed the PV Town Council on a 5-0 vote. It encompasses changes that essentially make it more onerous to operate STRs in the town. They are mostly regulatory in nature, such as having more stringent noise codes, increased transparency in the ownership and operation of STRs, and increased standards. While we generally prefer less regulations, in this case it seemed to be a reasonable way to circumvent an overreaching law.

So where do we go from here? Well the ball is in AG Brnovich’s court now to determine if McGuire’s response has merit, or if the town is in non-compliance with the law. And he must juggle a lot of balls at once, including the consideration of his run for the US Senate. Does he want to imperil support based on the conclusion of one heavily-conflicted state senator? Does he want to anger the residents of two of the most monied cities and towns in Arizona? That would be a dangerous game to play. We hope he acknowledges Peterson’s conflict for what it is, and leans towards the side of the residents of our cities and towns.