Protesters decry proposal they say would create short-term rental ‘loophole’
Community groups and hospitality workers gathered outside Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s office this week to speak out against a proposal that they say would exempt so-called “vacation rentals” from existing short-term rental regulations.
The proposed vacation rental ordinance could provide a loophole that, protesters said, could lead to affordable housing to be turned into short-term Airbnb-style rental units instead. Under the current regulations, short-term rentals are permitted only at primary residences, but the vacation rental ordinances opens up homes not considered primary residences to being rented out for short periods.
The protesters called on the city to better enforce existing short-term rental regulations, instead of allowing the vacation rental ordinance that could potentially circumvent those laws to go through.
The activists gathered outside Harris-Dawson’s office because he chairs the Planning and Land Use Management Committee that earlier this month voted 3-1 to advance the vacation rental ordinance to the full City Council, which is expected to take up the issue in December.