Lexington Council Committee Considering Tougher Short-Term Rental Regs

Oct 9, 2019

Lexington Council Chambers Featured Several Airbnb Owners Tuesday Afternoon
Credit Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council is considering additional regulations for short-term housing rentals.  A draft ordinance got a going over Tuesday by members of the Planning and Public Safety Committee.

Committee members heard from several Airbnb participants.  Most like Kathy Burke said regulation is okay as long as it’s not more strenuous than other similar rental services.

“I will tell you that I would rather live in my Airbnb than my own house because there’s no clutter, it’s clean, my lawn is cut.  My neighbors love us,” said Burke.

More than one short-term rental owner did say limiting one rental per week, which is in the current zoning ordinance, is too restrictive. 

Mark Streety is president of the Ashland Neighborhood Association.  He is concerned about the number of short-term rentals in Lexington.  He said he's heard people use the phrase "home hotels" which he said violates city zoning rules. And, he said, there is a noticeable change within neighborhoods. 

“I’m talking about neighborhoods without neighbors,” noted Streety.

Among other things, the draft ordinance calls for operators to have a business license, pay a $100 registration fee, collect and remit taxes, and meet safety requirements like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Council Member Angela Evans said the proposal may be over-reaching. “I know we want to know who’s operating these businesses, but I don’t think that requires everything that’s in here,” added Evans.

The planning and public safety committee will continue to review the proposal. 

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