Beach Drive short term rental properties under direct fire (opinion)

Representation of known short term rental units in Seattle

More like a scattered shot gun approach if you ask me. The Seattle Mayor & esteemed Council members are set to propose strict regs on ALL short term (under 30 days) rental properties in the entire city. That of course includes all of West Seattle and the handful of units on Beach Drive which yours truly just went live with in May. 

The purpose and intention of the proposed legislation is to discourage homeowners with non-owner occupied properties to choose housing out of town tourists over more permanent long term renters. If it all goes as planned, the Council predicts there will be 300 new long term rental units on the market.  They stop short on claiming they’ll be “affordable” but that’s what they really want, and frankly should want.

Councilmember Tim Burgess that chairs Affordable Housing prides himself on using “smart policies and evidence-based solutions”. Really?

From personal experience, the few guests we have hosted so far have either had family living in West Seattle, were referred by neighbors that don’t have enough space for out of town relatives, a family from Minnesota that drove up from Portland to hang out and see a Twins game at Safeco Field, and a local West Seattle resident celebrating a landmark birthday with her out of area friends as a stay-cation. What they all had in common is…

  • They did not want to rent a hotel downtown and fight traffic and parking.
  • They did not want to stay in the basement of someone’s primary residence.
  • They all wanted a private waterfront home all to themselves which is not available anywhere commercially in the city.
  • They all spent a majority of time & money hanging out in West Seattle.

Other than required licensing, the Council is not going to hinder homeowners that are using their primary residence for housing STR guests. The idea is that this segment of the market is merely trying to make ends meet and subjecting them to the proposed regs wouldn’t result in additional permanent units anyhow. Well, the only 2 homeowners I know around here using their primary residence as a STR have entire apartment units on their lower floor and choose short term rather than permanent renters. Not trying to pull them into the crab boil as well but it probably won’t be long before the City sics their proposed staff of STR inspector goons on them as well!

Now we need to make a decision what to do with our house next door if the legislation passes through as proposed. Rent it out on a permanent basis? No, we also like the flexibility of using it for ourselves, family & friends. Sell it? Maybe some years down the road. Bottom line is that the City of Seattle will miss out on any further taxes & licensing fees we generate and West Seattle establishments will lose some year around tourism dollars. It’s just too much work & expense to run a STR like ours for the proposed limit of 90 days a year when the break even point is more like around 160 days.

 

WShotel

West Seattle’s one and only hotel/motel

I’m not saying a problem doesn’t exist in other parts of the city. All of Burgess’s example’s of why short term rentals are cheating permanent locals from finding affordable housing border downtown Seattle. He claims extreme abuses of entire apartment/condo floors being held out for STR to tourists. We’ve recently learned that “entrepreneurs” are actually renting out permanent apartment space and then jacking the rent to STR guests all with 100% approval of the building’s management team (also receiving a cut, of course). I also wouldn’t be surprised if abuses are taking place with the recent high density rezoning and micro housing attended for gram & gramps or permanent local renters.

Seems to me that the Council and Mayor should be targeting those abuses rather than ma & pa on Beach Drive.

 

Scupper, reporting/ranting for Beach Drive Blog

THE West Seattle Garage Sale is TOMORROW

garage saleHats off to West Seattle Blog for organizing the massive community garage sale taking place in West Seattle tomorrow.

We have decided, too last minute to be on West Seattle Blog’s list, to have a garage sale tomorrow.

Our sale includes some brand new items, that we had originally purchased for our vacation rental, Beach Drive Bungalow, like:

  • flatware for 8
  • new pans

We also have:

  • bathroom light fixture
  • used toaster oven
  • bar stools
  • clothes, shoes (some never worn)

I will also have a couple limited edition signed Giclee prints of Rooster of the Sea available.

PS: If you have a Beach Drive garage sale you would like to promote, let us know! We are happy to promote your garage sale on “West Seattle Garage Sale Day” and any day of the year!

Meet Beach Naturalist

Want to learn more about the marine plants and animals off the shores of Beach Drive? Meet trained volunteers with the Seattle Aquarium this summer for their “Meet Beach Naturalist” program. “South Alki” is off Beach Drive south the light house – just watch for the signs. Here are the dates.

2016 beach naturalist

Pair of Common Loons

I was just telling my hubby that in the years we’ve lived here, we have seen a lonely Loon singing but not a pair.

Loon

We were thrilled this afternoon to be able to watch two Common Loons.

 

loons2 loons

Here are some interesting tid-bits about local Loons.

Truck Vandalized on 5600 Block of Beach Drive

A Beach Drive neighbor reports:

My truck was broken into last night. Had a late work day so still had computers and chargers in truck. They took everything plus my workout backpack with gear and running shoes. 5600 block on Beach Drive.

This took place on Friday night. The back side window of the truck was busted out.

Moon setting over the Olympics

april 20 2016 moonset
We have another warm 80 degree day in the forecast. Keep cool, neighbors!

Car Stolen from Beach Drive

This morning a neighbor in the 5900 block of Beach Drive woke up to learn their car was stolen.

The thieves left two bicycles on the top of their driveway in exchange for their 2015 Mercedes SUV.

Here is a photo of the bikes. It’s very possible the the bicycles may have been stolen too.

d86488a6ceb2173a312e171d97b84b10.jpg.max800

Got family or friends coming to town?

Consider a vacation rental! You don’t have to send family and friends to trek to downtown Seattle for a hotel when there are so many vacation rentals in the Beach Drive neighborhood, including (shameless plug ahead) our Beach Drive vacation rental!

The selection of available properties is pretty amazing, including waterfront, view, condos, town homes, apartments over garages, studios, bedrooms and detached homes. Prices vary and are comparable or often better (in my opinion) than what you would pay in a hotel.

The next time you have friends or family coming to town for fun or business, check out one of the many vacation rental sights like VRBO, AirBnB or Trip Advisor/FlipKey so they can stay in West Seattle.

 

High Winds hits West Seattle

This post has more recent updates towards the bottom.

Parts of Beach Drive are without power shortly after the winds came roaring in. Seattle City Light‘s map shows that 1638 homes on Beach Drive are without power due to a tree.

power outage March 13

It’s got to be a bumpy ride for folks on the ferry too. The Vashon – Fauntleroy Ferry run is showing wind speeds up to 49 mph. vashon ferry March 13

Wind Alert is forecasting that the strongest winds are with us now with gusts estimated up to 52 mph.
wind alert March 13

The High Wind Warning is in effect until 11:00 pm tonight. Got flashlights and candles ready?

Update 2:43 pm: Low tide is at 3:15 and estimated to be 0.02 and then we’ll head up to an est. 10.52 around 9:54 pm.

Update 3:37 pm: Scupper and I drove Beach Drive in search of the downed tree referenced in Seattle City Light’s map for the power outage – we did not see any down trees at that time.

City of Seattle has just updated their forecast:

330 PM PDT SUN MAR 13 2016

…HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING…
TONIGHT…VERY WINDY. SHOWERS. RAINFALL AMOUNTS A QUARTER TO A HALF INCH POSSIBLE. LOWS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S. SOUTH WIND 25 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 55 MPH IN THE EARLY EVENING THEN EASING TO SOUTHWEST 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH.

Puget Sound Marine Forecast:
235 PM PDT SUN MAR 13 2016

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

TONIGHT
S WIND 35 TO 45 KT…BECOMING SW 20 TO 30 KT BY
MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 6 TO 8 FT…SUBSIDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. SHOWERS
LIKELY.

Update 4:01 pm: Here’s a photo from our intrepid reporter, Scupper.
IMG_5583

Latest forecast from Wind Alert shows another round of strong winds potentially on the way.
winder alert march 13 pm

Are you missing a boat?

This boat is floating by Emma Schmitz View Point heading north.DSC_0186