Short-term rental phase-out advances, Nashville Metro Council punts final vote to July, short term rental.#Short #term #rental
Short-term rental phase-out advances, Nashville Metro Council punts final vote to July
After averting state intervention last week, the Metro Council on Tuesday took a step toward scaling back short-term rentals in Nashville but will put off a final vote until July.
The delay means that a controversial bill to phase out certain types of short-term rentals could still get overhauled as council members continue to meet with representatives of the home-sharing company Airbnb and others to work toward a consensus.
Tops among considerations: don’t attract interference from from the Republican-controlled state legislature moving forward.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance controversial legislation that would phase out from residential neighborhoods short-term rental properties that aren’t occupied by their owner.
The measure would immediately halt new permits for this type of short-term renting and eliminate existing permits over the next three years for this same type.
Lead sponsor Councilman Larry Hagar said he plans to defer a final of three votes until July so that he and other council members can work out some amendments with the legislation. He said he expects as many as seven or eight amendments from his colleagues that would address a range of areas with the bill.
Hagar made clear that “for the sake of the neighborhoods” he still want to move forward with the phase-out he’s proposed, but he predicted other council members might seek to change the scope of the ordinance.
“There’s all different types of stuff floating around out there,” he said. “We’ll look at all of them.”
The council’s move comes one week after the state House of Representatives voted to block Nashville’s phase-out proposal. The same bill later died in the Tennessee Senate, however .
Nevertheless, Republican senators, including Nashville’s Steve Dickerson and Ferrell Haile, warned the Metro Council to not go too far with short-term rental regulations, noting the legislation will still be on the table next year.
“That’s what you’ve got mediation for to try to mediate it out and that’s what the legislature wants us to do,” Hagar said. “They want us to come to a resolution. That’s why they deferred it in the legislature.”
“It’s walking a fine line. Not everybody’s going to be happy with whatever we do. It’s a hot topic.”
Under the proposal on the table, current permit-holders could renew their permits, which are good for one year, until June 28, 2019, meaning permits would be phased out completely by the summer of 2020.
Investor-owned short-term renting could continue in commercial areas and at multi-family condos or apartment complexes under the legislation. The bill would not affect short-term rental homes that are occupied by the owner.
In a statement, Laura Spanjian, Airbnb’s policy director for Tennessee, said the company remains “as committed as ever to continuing our past conversations with Councilman Hagar and other city policymakers to create smart and sensible rules that protect the quality of life in Nashville’s neighborhoods.
“We hope this development will allow all parties to return to the table in good faith and develop regulations that work for all of Nashville,” she said.
The Metro Planning Commission voted 8-0 last month to recommend approval of the proposal. Because the bill the is considered pending legislation, the Metro Codes department has halted issuing new permits for non-owner-occupied short-term rental properties in residential neighborhoods until final action on the bill is taken.
Hagar said the council is likely to organize a special meeting on short-term rentals in the coming weeks to discuss changes to the phase-out ordinance.
During a marathon public hearing two weeks ago, the controversial short-term rental proposal which Airbnb, HomeAway and other online home–sharing companies have fought was debated for more than four hours.
The ordinance takes aim at a type of short-term renting that critics say attracts investors into neighborhoods where they don’t live. Neighborhood activists have complained the practice brings businesses into residential communities, turns homes into party hotels, and displaces longtime residents in already-gentrifying neighborhoods.
Short-term rental hosts have countered by defending their property rights. They’ve also argued that they provide an important piece in Nashville’s thriving tourism industry by offering affordable lodging options for travelers.
Nashville has struggled to enforce regulations over short-term renting ever since they were adopted in 2014. Last week, Jim Todd, the magistrate who has overseen complaints over short-term rentals, resigned following media reports about his ownership of multiple short-term rental properties.
Reach Joey Garrison at 615-259-8236 and on Twitter @joeygarrison.
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