BY MAGGIE BEAMGUARD, Insider Editor
Seven Lakes North has entered the fray of one of the biggest, ongoing debates in Moore County concerning the value and community impact of short-term rentals.
Residents in SLN/Ramapo are currently voting on language to amend their covenant to bring it in-line with language used for Seven Lakes South that prohibits “transient tenants.”
A community document shared by Bruce Runyon, secretary of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association (SLLA) and board member overseeing the Short-term Rental (STR) ad hoc Committee, provides background and rationale for the amendment.
According to the document, the discrepancy in language resulted from the way the community formed. Since the northside developed before the southside, different covenants were created for each with some slight differences.
When the North and South communities were consolidated in 1987, both original documents were included in the new Declaration of Restrictive Covenants. This left the SLLA with a two-in-one covenant.
“The matter of STRs was originally addressed in the Southside’s covenants forbidding ‘transient tenants;’ however, the Northside (including Ramapo) had no such provision,” explains the document provided by Runyon.
Opponents of short-term rentals believe they diminish the quality of life for permanent residents. Northside residents reported negative impacts experienced from short-term rentals including noise, litter and nuisance animals.
The ad-hoc committee formed in November 2021 to investigate solutions. According to the document from Runyan, the committee worked with a “forward-looking and proactive concern of investors coming in and buying up homes for the sole purpose of converting to STRs.”
The committee developed a resident survey with help from the SLLA attorney. Nearly three-quarters (72.5 percent) of respondents opposed rentals of less than 30 days.
After the SLLA board defined and approved a definition of “transient tenants,” their next step was to call for a vote to amend the Northside’s covenants to match the Southside’s. Ballots were mailed to Northside and Ramapo residents in September; voting will end Nov. 30.
The association’s attorney aided in the ballot and cover letter preparation and provided affirmation that the vote complies with the NC Community Standards Act.
The measure needs 67 percent of the votes of eligible lot owners on the Northside and Ramapo to amend the covenant.
Residents in favor of amending the Northside (including Ramapo) covenant to prohibit STRs will register a “yes” vote. Residents not in favor of changing the amendments will vote “no.”
Contact Maggie Beamguard at firstname.lastname@example.org.