Lake Park neighborhood upset at homeowner they claim runs home like a hotel
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - If you own a house, does that give you the right to do what you want with it?
That's the heart of a simmering dispute headed to the Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals.
Residents of the Water Tower Neighborhood in near Lake Park allege a homeowner of treating his property like a hotel.
At question is a home at 2950 N. Shepard Avenue and one at 2628 E. Newberry Blvd. Residents claim they've seen several different people show up during weekends and they're renting the house from the owners.
"Vacation homes for rent work in Miami Beach and New Orleans and San Francisco because those neighborhoods are geared for tourists," answers Russ Wasserman, who lives in the neighborhood.
Wasserman tells TODAY'S TMJ4 he found advertisements for the house on a website called Vacation Rentals By Owner, at http://www.vrbo.com.
The site actually lists 246 properties for nightly and weekly rentals just in southeast Wisconsin.
Wasserman, though, thinks this practice violates zoning laws and along with several of his neighbors brought the issue to the city (there's also an online petition).
"If you get permission for this here, then what's the purpose of zoning laws? Why not have a McDonald's here or a neon sign?" Wasserman asks.
The properties' owner and manager, Jason Hernandez, refused to go on camera but dismissed any claims that his rentals are illegal. He also claims people offer up their homes as vacation rentals across the country.
Both Hernandez and the neighborhood association have hired attorneys and they are gearing up for the first hearing on Oct. 10.