Short-term rentals like Airbnbs would have to follow the same local laws as established bed and breakfasts under proposed changes to city code. On Thursday evening, residents will be able to weigh in on the list of changes at a City Council public hearing.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Jill Myers. Jill and her husband Rob are the innkeepers at Bella Rose Bed and Breakfast, a restored Victorian home at 290 N. Main St. She said the proposal addresses a number of concerns she has with room rentals like Airbnb that currently don’t have requirements she believes help maintain the character and beauty of historic city neighborhoods.
The change to municipal code would apply to any home or unit of a home rented for less than 30 days. It would allow rentals in any zone of the city, provided the rental fits a list of standards. The property owner would have to be present during the short-term stays; rentals could not involve support of more than one non-residential employee; and the rental could not operate as a restaurant by selling meals other than to bona fide overnight guests. The rental could not operate as a rooming house or boarding house as defined in city code. Total occupancy of the rental unit would be limited to no more than six guests (unrelated to the proprietors) at any one time. The rentals would also be subject to paying the applicable county and local lodging tax.