Letter to the Editor: Some advance notice would have been helpful

Dear editor:
I probably should have sent this for the last edition. However, I needed a little time to cool down.
How would most business owners feel if their first knowledge of regulations and pending taxation was found in the newspaper?  Angry, I suppose. A simple call or letter would suffice. We have been contacted in the past!
Here’s the deal. My wife and I (now in our late 70s) bought a building (800 square feet) that was built as a church, then used for around 20 years as a business office (still designated as commercial by the county). We bought the 60-year-old building, spoke to the town about regulation and applied for a building permit. We spent about a year and about $20,000 in repairs and remodeling and open our doors for business.
Then, we get a letter from the town that we are out of compliance with zoning codes and need to run around to the neighbors within 300 feet for permission. I grumble to the deaf ears of the town. A short-term rental is in no way in violation of the wording or intent of the single-family rules. Those single-family rules allow for the operations of child daycare for up to 40. We believe that might increase traffic. Short-term rentals do not increase traffic or density. On top of that, there are no dead cars spending years on the curb, no boats, utility trailers full of junk or vacation trailers parked near intersections.
 Short-term rentals are graded on appearance, inside and out. So, it is best if the house has fresh paint, the lawn and grounds are cared for and weeds are cleared from the alleys. We do this and offer off-street parking. We check with our neighbors who most often don’t know when renters are there. How these properties look and whether or not they enhance the neighborhood hasn’t been mentioned.
Yes, it’s more work for us but we like meeting the guests and showing off our town and region.  Some are children and grandchildren of locals. They buy gasoline, eat in our restaurants and shop, all of which we promote with brochures, lists and maps.
It’s better for us because we don’t have to deal with long-term renters who might not be the best; with noise, damage, leaving in the middle of the night, leaving a mess or having a sheriff’s eviction. We’re too old to deal with that anymore.
We think a permit would make more sense than a variance. A permit that would designate number of occupants, parking, noise limits, etc. We aren’t sure about an application or permit fee, whatever the amount. We already pay the town to manage codes and regulations through taxation. If we put an extra workload on the town, we suppose a fee would be inline. Currently the workload is on the property owner.  A permit could be revoked for noncompliance.
If given a heads up for planning, we are sure business owners would be glad to add input that may resolve issues pertaining to like businesses.      

Walt and Sandy Rivers