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Debate over short-term rental limits has Lake Wallenpaupack residents at odds with each other

Many thought the township supervisors were prepared to put restrictions on renters at a meeting Thursday, but they left disappointed.
Credit: wnep

Concerned and upset residents of Paupack Township packed into a township supervisors meeting, filling it to capacity under pandemic restrictions for social distancing.

Many either saw or heard about posts on Facebook, saying that at this meeting the supervisors would be taking a vote to prohibit any short-term rentals shorter than 30 days.

With the community set on Lake Wallenpaupack, the demand for weekend rentals is high and many property owners in Paupack Township could lose business with a limit to no less than a month-long rental.

The supervisors said what was seen on social media was nothing but rumors.

"We do not have a Facebook site. Someone put a lot of garbage, call it garbage on Facebook about it,” said the chairman of the supervisors, Bruce Chandler.

Still, many of these residents said they've been asking for a ban on short-term rentals less than a month, saying the people who rent only stay a few days to throw house parties.

"It's 10, 15 cars pull up, the weekend. They light a fire, go to dinner. They light an outside fire pit and then go to dinner,” said resident Susan Fisher.

"You buy a house and you think you have the rest of your life spent in peace and quiet and you're not,” said resident Christine Trotta Bell.

The majority of speakers at the meeting were those who opposed short-term rentals, however, there were those in attendance that own rental property or supported short-term rentals.

Will Clauss is the president of the Pike/Wayne Association of Realtors. He says this is a community funded by tourism and the rental property owners aren't the only ones benefiting.

"Economic prosperity for all of our mom and pop, our local shops here, family-run businesses,” said Clauss.

The Paupack Township supervisors say they are looking to update their zoning ordinances which include short-term rentals but there will be nothing done in the near future or without public hearings.