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Zoning board gives approval to tourist rentals

Andy Ouriel • Jan 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM

A Curran Street couple received the OK to keep renting out their two homes to tourists.

The five members from Sandusky's zoning appeals board unanimously approved a request from Ann and John Arnold, allowing them to continue renting their properties as vacation homes.

Previously, city officials told the Arnolds -- along with five residents living on or near Cedar Point Road -- they violated Sandusky's zoning code by letting tourists into their homes for a fee.

Board members rejected an appeal from all those involved in December to reverse the decision.

Recently, however, the Arnolds asked and received a special permit to keep renting out their Curran Street home.

"We gave them a conditional use permit," board member John Feick said. "It doesn't change the zoning law, and (the Arnolds) can use the permit for rentals."

Feick's decision came from the overwhelming support nearly 20 neighbors and community residents displayed during a Thursday hearing in City Hall.

Many spoke about why the Arnolds should be allowed to rent out their homes.

For one, the couple rejuvenated a street once infested with criminals and drugs, Cove Street resident Don Mather said.

"We had a deteriorated neighborhood," Mather said. "But we got people out of town investing in our homes, and now it's just a wonderful place to live."

Another reason includes the benefits city officials reap from the Arnolds' initial investment, city resident Bob Warner said.

"I have watched hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction go down there," Warner said.

Better homes also elevate property values. Nicer-looking homes also encourage people to come to Sandusky.

"They continue to do good things for the street and the city," Warner said.

The Arnolds began renting homes on the street 24 years ago.

John's motivation for sprucing up the street came from growing up in the neighborhood and wanting to stay there.

John's just happy this months-long saga has concluded.

"People want to live and stay down here because it's a great neighborhood," John said.

Check back later for video.

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