We are very sad and disappointed at the South Portland City Council’s decision to ban all non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, starting this fall.

We have been visiting family in Portland for 35 years now, and we were thrilled to happen upon the perfect arrangement for our annual/biannual visits to Maine. My husband’s family has been in Portland for over 80 years, so we have a great deal of respect for the city, its history and economy.

It has been most enjoyable for us to stay at a home with a kitchen where we can cook for family, purchasing local produce, take walks to the beach with our dog (only between 7 and 9 a.m., of course), sit quietly on the porch and enjoy the owner’s beautiful garden. The owner of our particular rental is a stellar citizen who makes sure that his yard is maintained weekly and that the house is watched by a local manager who is always available.

Our visits now will be curtailed because we really have no other options in the area. I wish that the City Council could have taken more time to come up with a more friendly solution. The problem homes and their owners are well-known by all in town, so it seems unfortunate that all must be punished for the actions of a few. Unfortunately, the City Council seems unable or unwilling to think outside of the box.

It is with great sadness that we will no longer be visiting your lovely town, frequenting your wonderful restaurants or enjoying the spectacular “vibe” that is your city. We no longer feel at all welcome, so we won’t be returning.

I suspect that you will see some serious economic impact to this rash decision, but it is one that your councilors seem to have deemed acceptable.

Erica V. Goldfarb

Charlottesville, Va.

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