The City of Savannah has filed suit against Arnold and Arlene Belzer, for operating an unlicensed Short-Term Vacation Rental (STVR).
The suit follows a similar effort announced on Dec. 15 against Mark Dewitt, saying his company Ardsley Park Savannah, LLC operates more than two dozen illegal STVRs.
The suit against the Belzers was filed in Superior Court on December 21st. "The suit contends the Belzers operate a vacation rental unit in their home at 34 Washington Avenue, a single family residential district, a use which is prohibited by the City’s Zoning Ordinance," a City spokesperson says.
"The City has received and responded to numerous complaints from residents of the neighborhood about this illegal vacation rental, but the defendants have resisted repeated citations against this use," the City claims. "The City will now seek temporary and permanent injunctions halting this illegal commercial use in a residential neighborhood, along with fines and attorney’s fees against the owners."
The City contends residents "are harmed and will continue to be harmed by the defendants’ violations of the Zoning Ordinance. The City also contends that the defendants have acted in bad faith by refusing to comply with the Zoning Ordinance and Short-term Vacation Rental Ordinance," the spokesperson says.
Regarding the properties operated by Dewitt and Ardsley Park Savannah, the City contends that they "are believed to own the largest number of illegal vacation rental units managed by one operator in the City. Between them, they advertise at least 26 unlicensed units on Airbnb. At least 22 of these units, which are operated at addresses described in the complaint, are located throughout the central part of the City in zoning districts which do not allow vacation rental units. The residences are scattered between E. 33rd St. and E. 65th St."
The City says it will continue to file complaints in Superior Court to seek injunctions against individuals who ignore warnings and citations for violations of the Zoning and STVR Ordinances.