Rowdy renters force change in community center rules

By James Matthews

Woodfin — The Town of Woodfin held a brief monthly Aldermen meeting, during which they made decisions on leaf and brush pick-up and changed the rules for renting the community center. The reason for the change to the renting rules for the community center come after damage by rowdy renters of the town’s facility have cost Woodfin taxpayers’ funds in repair bills.

To start the meeting off, Mayor Jerry VeHaun opened the floor up for attendees to bring topics to the board’s attention. The first attendee to comment was Eric Belsterling, who commented on the loud music and partying that he had noticed coming from the community center. “Every Saturday night there is a party or something down there, and the noise is so loud I am having to wear ear plugs on Saturday night. I’ve tried to be a good neighbor, I’ve gone out and asked them to turn it down. It’s the vibration, there is some loud bass noise that they’ve got.”

After having called the police to address the issue, he requested that the town address the enforcement of the rules for the community center. Town Administrator Jason Young noted that this issue, among others related to the building, would be addressed later during the meeting.

The next attendee who spoke was Steven Baumohl, who provided a proposal to the board. The proposal, he stated, “was the result of meetings with some neighbors.” He continued, “there was some issues that came up. These issues have been brought up to Mr. Young. Dealing with and thinking through the short-term rentals, it seemed to me that two things: there is a difference between home insurance and landlord insurance,” and “I am suggesting that this board sends this issue Mr. Young and [Ben Dannemiller, the Town Planner] and whomever else. I am also suggesting that the Mayor appoint, if thats the proper thing to do, an advisory committee of one neighbor, one landlord renter and one insurance person, who can help advise.”

He went on to suggest that the town require short rental operators conduct background checks on potential renters. Young responded that they would look closely at the proposal, but noted that requiring background checks is something that may overstep any legal authority the board has.

Moving on to the new business section of the meeting, the board discussed leaf and brush pick-up. “This would extend the requirements that the board put in place for major trailer parks of five or more units and apartment complexes of five or more units, we require them to provide a dumpster,” Young explained.

The new ordinance would, “extend that same policy to leaf and brush clippings, which they tend to generate at one time, which throws off collections schedules for residential customers.” He went on, saying, “we would give folks 30 days to make modifications so that they could handle that but at this time of year, that should be more than sufficient.” The board voted unanimously to approve the new ordinance.

Finally, Young brought up how much difficulty the public works and administration was having recently with renters utilizing the community center causing damage to the facility which had racked up a significant amount of repair bills. After some discussion, at Young’s suggestion, the board voted to limit the rental of the community center to Woodfin residents only and to increase the security deposit to $1,000 for any event involving alcohol and to leave the non-alcohol events unchanged.

The board concluded its meeting after hearing the department reports.

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