Council Meeting 10/14/2015 – Short-Term Rental Ordinance On Agenda

The City Council will meet on Wednesday, October 14th at 6:00 pm at City Hall, 280 Grove Street.

The meeting agenda may be found here.

Of particular interest is an ordinance amending the city’s zoning laws to allow for short-term rental use.  This is being done in response to the phenomenon of websites such as AirBnB which makes it easy for a home or apartment owner to rent out a room or the entire dwelling for short term stays.  Although it is not in the ordinance, the city claims that it has reached an agreement with AirBnB whereby the company will charge the person renting the room the city’s hotel tax.

The proposed ordinance can be found at pages 11-13 here.

As a committeeman I would appreciate feedback from residents as to their thoughts on the ordinance.  Many people use AirBnB to get some extra income by renting out a room or by renting out their entire place when they are away.  There has also been a growth in business owners who lease multiple apartments and houses on a regular basis (the ordinance allows this, but requires individuals renting out five or more units to obtain proper licenses).  Some people have expressed concern that allowing short term rentals would make it harder for long-term residents to find apartments, and would change the makeup of residential neighborhoods and apartments.  There is also a question as to how this would affect rent controlled units.

Tomorrow night is the introduction (first reading) of the ordinance.  There will be no public discussion on the matter but you can contact the clerk’s office to be placed on the list for the public comment period.  If the resolution is successfully introduced, then it will be set for a second reading where the council will here public comment.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the ordinance contact me here.