BLOG: We get mail! Commissioner Cole begs to differ

Tom Jackson
Sep 15, 2011

Editor's note: Not everyone agreed with my August 11 blog post criticizing the Sandusky City Commission for launching a crackdown against homeowners who rent Sandusky homes to vacationers for a few days. City Commissioner Diedre Cole wrote me an email giving the other side of the story, and she's given me permission to post it. Here are her comments -- Tom.

From City Commissioner Diedre Cole:

Your blog was interesting to say the least. While I understand both points of view, this was not a deliberate attack on those who legally rent homes for vacationers.

I don't know where you live, but just as an example....let's say your neighbor to your left parks a fully loaded pick-up truck in his driveway (opposite your open bedroom window) because he has collected trash from 6 am to 6 pm and missed dumping at the landfill because it closes at 3 pm. Then...your neighbor on the right of you rents the entire house to vacationers for two weeks. These are great folks, but they spend all day at Cedar Point, come in late, walk their dog that poops in your front yard, and stay up till 3 am drinking on the deck in the back yard with music playing loudly and loudly talking over the music.

You call the police to control the noise because you need to get some sleep to work in the morning, you close the bedroom window because the police tell you they cannot force your neighbor to move his legally park NON-COMMERCIAL vehicle full of trash in his driveway and inform you to call the Health Department in the morning. You call the Health Department the next day, they show up but oops....no truck in the driveway so they cannot address the issue. You drag yourself to work because you are sleepy, make it through the day and your neighbor returns home after hauling trash all day with a fully loaded truck again. All of a sudden, you notice you have evidence of mice and you can't seem to figure out where they're coming from so you run to Sandusky Hardware for some traps---it dawns on you....the trash truck in the driveway. You go to bed at 11 pm hoping for a good nights sleep but the noisy vacationers get in and you watch them let their dog crap on your front lawn again but you don't mind because "they are boosting our local economy" so you suffer through it. The next day, you confront your neighbor about the trash truck and he/she tells you, "Sorry, but I don't have to move it, this is MY driveway!" On the way to your car, you step in the poop the economy boosting tourists left behind. You call every single Commissioner immediately because you are angry, sleepy and at the end of your rope and ask for something to be done.

We get calls from everything to "my neighbor kicked my dog" to "my neighbor threw trash over my fence" to "why isn't the snow shoveled at the recycle bin" and my personal favorites, "why don't you pave the Post Office Parking lot? It's full of pot holes!" and, "my neighbor has a video camera aimed in my window!" I cannot speak for others, but I do not mind receiving these calls and I respond to every single one. But really Tom? Seriously? Everyone needs to put their "Big Boy Pants" on, get a grip, grow up and follow the laws in place. A bad economy is not a legal defense of which I am aware, neither is ignorance of the law. When you (figuratively speaking) purchased your home, you knew it was in residential zone which is what you wanted. You didn't want a B&B next door, a brothel or a transfer station for refuse. You're a good citizen, you pay your taxes, you contribute to your community and all you want is to live in peace...what do you do? Most people only think about themselves, their family and what directly affects them. It's our job as commissioners to think about EVERYONE and how what we do or not affects 25,793 residents. Amazing!

 

Comments

tanman

Commissioner Cole obviously doesn't like her job.  I have rental property in the city - and no it's not vacation rental property.  But it sits next to a house that is falling apart in which I have made numerous phone calls to the city about but it still sits there falling apart.  In the meantime, I continue to take meticulous care of my property which is in a so-so neighborhood.  I cannot sell it unless I want to lose all I have put into it.  The market in Sandusky is sad to say the least.  However, I don't know that it is fair for city leaders to tell me what I can and cannot do with my property especially when I am one of the few landlords who actually takes care of my place.  Time to crack down on the ones who don't maintain their property and the ones who rent their houses for "cash" so they don't have to pull the rental permits and claim the income on their taxes.  Since the house next to mine was owned by a slumlord who got away with it for so long (until he decided to stop paying the mortgages on several properties which are now worth nothing because he did not maintain them) the value of my property is lower than it should be.  I would sit back and let anyone allow their dog to poop in my yard without confronting them to clean it up.  I clean up after my dogs on every walk we take.  Maybe Sandusky should come up with a different type of permit for property owners to purchase if they want to rent as a vacation home.  It is good for the overall community to have the vacationers in town and let's face it, Sandusky is a boom town who shines only in the warmer months - the only ones getting rich in the winter are the indoor waterparks.  All of the other business' suffer. 

Pete

Uhm, yea

How long till it's time to vote?

BytheBy

Does she even own a home? Or is she still Sec 8?

althenaruby

You cant assume that all vacationers are going to act like that.  Heck I've had homeowners next to me that acted like drunk teenagers.  The pet issue is big though.  I pick up after my dog and it kills me when i see people walking theirs with out anyway to do the same.  I've had people give me dirty looks while their dog does its business on my steps.

Centauri

Editor's note: Not everyone agreed with my August 11 blog post criticizing the Sandusky City Commission for launching a crackdown against homeowners who rent Sandusky homes to vacationers for a few days. City Commissioner Diedre Cole wrote me an email giving the other side of the story, and she's given me permission to post it.

The question is if any neighbors next to the homes that were rented to vacationers for a few days complained to the city. If the neighbors did not complain, then Diedre's email is not relevant. How did the city "learn" about these houses being rented to vacationers?

I do appreciate when public officials such as Diedre post public comments or share their emails for public reading.

How can one compare a smelly truck used to haul trash to a house being rented to vacationers? Diedre's email is based on various complaints, many unrelated to renting out a house to vacationers.

The question again is if the neighbors complained to the city about the house next door being rented to vacationers?

 

007

Maybe COLE could market her home business of :

Founder & CEO Intimate Scents, Inc. Cosmetics industry to rid the stench of the garbage truck next to the complaining neighbor in her analogy of being an elected official.

It be interesting to know if Cole uses her vehicle for her business. She was so free to point out the issue of non- commercial plates on the haulers vehicles. Business vehicles must have commercial plates, special insurance, STATE LAW Mandated. this is easy enough to check out. Rest assured, in the near future you will in fact be asked these questions. Hey if your business is legit, then it's business as usual, but if not, then you shouldn't be in public office preaching what is correct and what isn't.

Interesting, on one site it has your business listed at the address below, on another site it has it listed at your residence. Interesting, if in fact it's at home, there are a multitude of requirements the state requires. Will be back on this shortly.

Intimate Scents, Inc. 730 E. Washington Street
Sandusky, OH 44870
419-871-1000  Organic, Custom-Blended Aromatherapy Products, Blended Oils, Bath & Body Products, Mineral Makeup, Household & Laundry Products And 100% Pure Scented Soy Wax Candles.

 

Cityslicker

@007. Took the words right outa my mouth.

007

No address or business comes back on the number she has listed on her business.

419-871-1000

sanduskysteve

Ms. Cole's example is unreal. How many places are setup exactly like that. You could have a trash truck next to you, but that AND a rental house with inconsiderate people on the other side of you? This is unrealistic and so isn't worth much weight in the conversation. As for dogs pooping on other's property - this is happening without the trash trucks and without the rental properties. Honestly, the worse situation in this city is junky unkept housing as mentioned already and the crack houses all over town. Why is it that we can enact an bunch of old previously un-enforced laws while we still are not able to enforce the laws which are more important in Sandusky? Drugs and guns and stabbing people are just as illegal as renting a house without a permit and eliminating trash haulers who don't happen to be able to afford a bigger more expensive truck. This is nothing more than giving away small business's business to the rich big tycoons in the trash business.

Pete

As we all know, houses that rent for several grand a week are usually located in neighborhoods that also have pick-ups full of garbage parked in them :rolleyes:

Matt Easterhold

at least she proves she is an idiot everyday, so it leaves no doubt for the rest of us

moonbeam

Sorry guys, I agree with Diedre. I would be quite upset if my neighbor were to start using his property as a vacation rental. Zoning and proper permits are in place for a reason. Do they get followed and enforced all the time, heck no. I can understand why these property owners would be upset, though. I'm sure these properties are very well maintained and they see what people get away with for metro housing and the way a LOT of those properties are kept up. That is the City and Metro Housings fault. Metro,check how many people are actually living in a dwelling periodically, I can guarantee entire families are living out of small apartments, and if the property is maintained properly and such. My in-laws live next to a cronic abuser of this practice. The City NEEDS to start pulling rental permits if these homes aren't properly maintained and up to code! Quit pussy-footing around people,not the words I wanted to use :) , are these homes better lived in and ruined, or should they be condemned and torn down? Yes, I know it takes a long time to tear down a house but, how long (decades) should we let our City continue to decay. I bet our crime problem would go down also because a lot of the law breakers would leave, no place to live. Sorry, I degress. Zoning and permits are in place for the happiness and peace of mind of the majority, not the minority.

moonbeam

Sorry guys, I agree with Diedre. I would be quite upset if my neighbor were to start using his property as a vacation rental. Zoning and proper permits are in place for a reason. Do they get followed and enforced all the time, heck no. I can understand why these property owners would be upset, though. I'm sure these properties are very well maintained and they see what people get away with for metro housing and the way a LOT of those properties are kept up. That is the City and Metro Housings fault. Metro,check how many people are actually living in a dwelling periodically, I can guarantee entire families are living out of small apartments, and if the property is maintained properly and such. My in-laws live next to a cronic abuser of this practice. The City NEEDS to start pulling rental permits if these homes aren't properly maintained and up to code! Quit pussy-footing around people,not the words I wanted to use :) , are these homes better lived in and ruined, or should they be condemned and torn down? Yes, I know it takes a long time to tear down a house but, how long (decades) should we let our City continue to decay. I bet our crime problem would go down also because a lot of the law breakers would leave, no place to live. Sorry, I degress. Zoning and permits are in place for the happiness and peace of mind of the majority, not the minority.

moonbeam

Register, will you guys please get  word verification thing fixed

Itsntallaboutu

I agree also,   Let's do something about these people renting homes to vacationers with the zoning  not permissable~ do something about the slumlords (I've been pushing that issue all along)~do something about the homeowners who do not take care of their property!   Work on what we can all do about these issues.   ~ Simple.~    Dog poop~not a biggie~get a bag and pick it up.

For the partiers on Curran Street~guess when you don't have to get up to be at WORK by 6 a.m. everyday~none of this is a big issue~'eh?    Well, it is to the people who GO TO WORK everyday!  As for killing the cats~just a matter of time before the right people will be after you.

Itsntallaboutu

MOONBEAM ~I totally agree with you

perkinsandlynn

I would much rather have the house next to me rented out even if it is weekly, than to have it become the foreclosed heap that it is now.  I am smack dab in the middle of 2 foreclosed houses that a literaly falling apart.  I think Miss Cole should throw this into her analogy.

 

By the way, the foreclosures are not helping our economy in any way, shape, or form. 

perkinsandlynn

26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljddtbhRMW1qa55edo1_500.jpg

The link takes you to a picture that reinforces Miss Cole's arguement.....

Exxcellent

A stipulation of Metro housing is NO DRUGS can be found in the apartment. If you check out the apartment complex on Washington and Warren, they are smoking pot all of the time, right on the stoop outside. Right across the street from the metro building no less. How about enforcing that! If they are healthy enough to smoke weed, they can get a JOB. I'm not talking cancer patients who need it or are prescribed it either. Sorry to hijack, I had to get that out.

sanduskysteve

Cracker - I couldn't agree more with that. Also, has anyone in city hall thought about the rats and stray cats and dogs and bums that are living in those run down junk heap houses sitting around town. They are infested with rodents and druggies. What? You have no concern about that? Probably because you guys are taking a cut on the drug trafficing going on in the city - it's the only reason to allow this activity to go forward while picking on everything else in town. There are crack houses within a few blocks of the police station for crying out loud. And don't try to get a cop down there at night when they are fighting in the street and shooting off fireworks at all hours of the night. Police don't bother those hoods, they need to concentrate on the white collar crime in town. The ones that are paying taxes and not living off the taxpayers. It also is quite amazing that Ms. Cole can run a business out of a metro house and that's legal.

Captain Gutz

What does this mean? "...When you (figuratively speaking) purchased your home..."

Is Ms. Cole intimating that no one owns their own home?

I find no record of property ownership on the Erie County Auditors website for anyone named Diedre Cole.

moonbeam

I feel for you and I'm sorry for your situation perkinsandlynn. Just to clairify, I didn't mean all rentals,heck there wouldn't be a city left, but the ones in total disrepair. The slumlords who rent to people they know will tear their property up but like the on time payment of rent that metro provides. You know, the landlords who quit fixing stuff years ago. Ride around the city and really look at some of these houses. I wouldn't visit some let alone live there. I agree about the building across from metro. These people just don't care about anything. How can you live like that. And I'm sorry, but self pride in yourself, family,and children has little to do with poverty in my opinion.

BW1's picture
BW1
moonbeam : I agree with Diedre. I would be quite upset if my neighbor were to start using his property as a vacation rental. 

Why would you be upset?  Be specific - what would be the impact on your life?  What would bother you about it?  Make a list.  Then, cross off anything in the following categories:

-Behaviors that are already illegal, regardless.

-Behaviors in which homeowners and long term resident engage at least as often.

-Vague discomfort with the concept of a vacation rental next door for no other reason than it bothers you

If there's anything left on your list, post it, and let's discuss. 

BW1's picture
BW1

Tom, here's a reply to Ms. Cole's letter:

 

 

 

Ms. Cole,

Nothing in your example justifies the action in question.

First of all, the trash hauler in your scenario is a long term resident, so he's completely irrelevant. He only serves to show that long term residents cause as many problems for their neighbors as vacation rent, which actually argues AGAINST your position.

If the people next door make noise all hours of the night, or let their dog defecate in my yard, 1)there are existing laws to govern such conduct, and 2) the impact of such behaviors is the same, whether they are renting for the week, or own the house. If you think such behaviors are limited to vacation renters, then all the harsh comments I've read about you are understatements.

You're correct to say there are a lot of things I, and others, don't want next door, but I realize that I'm not necessarily entitled to have everything I want. Quite a few people do not want to live next door to section 8 recipients, and they have a far stronger statistical evidence to back up their preference. Maybe you should think twice about that before you make it your crusade to service everybody's preferences regarding the use of neighboring properties.

The current city government openly embraces the political agenda of those who reject the social contract of personal responsibility and respect for the property and rights of others. This latest action takes that problem one step further, representing an attack on productive citizens helping the local economy.

If you want to institute stepped up enforcement of petty little regulations, the city would benefit far more if you concentrated on the neighborhoods like yours that produce the city's current bumper crop of trigger-happy thugs. I guarantee you they are not coming from the vacation rentals on the Chausee.

BW1's picture
BW1

Captain Gutz:What does this mean? "...When you (figuratively speaking) purchased your home..."

Sounds like the use of words not understood in an attempt to sound authoritative or knowledgeable.

Julie R.

If all those houses on Cedar Point Road are being used as vacation rentals during the summer what do they do with them in the winter?

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