City leaders hold public hearing to discuss AirBnB regulations

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s a hot topic in Starkville, whether to impose regulations on short term renters.

On Thursday, a public hearing was held to let people voice their opinions on the matter.

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Those who rent through AirBnB called the proposed regulations discriminatory.

Initially the board considered the following options: charging a $300 yearly license fee, allowing the property to only be rented out up to 10 weekends or 30 days out the year, and requiring all property owners to live at the home they’re renting.

During the public hearing, city leaders expressed they’re open to amending some of those regulations.

Some of those amendments include, lowering the license fee to $50 dollars and extending the number of days the homes can be rented out.

A mixed crowd of considered residents and short-term renters were in attendance.

Those who came out were given four options to choose from.

The forth option is the one most people were in favor of.

That option does away with limiting the number of days the homes can be rented out, as well as requiring the owner to live at that home.

Ward 5 Alderman Hamp Beatty first introduced these proposed regulations during Tuesday’s board of aldermen meeting.

Beatty said he’s open to a few of the amendments.

However, the one regulation he isn’t backing down from is requiring property owners to live in the home their renting.

“Living in the dwelling is important I think because it’s their dwelling, it’s their primary dwelling,” said Beatty. “They’re going to make sure that the people that live there are of the highest character and are people that would not affect the property of their neighbor and things like that, or their property. I think it just puts a little higher standard, a higher requirement on the property that’s going to be used for AirBnB.”

“My concern is that I don’t like anything that’s regulated anymore than it has to be,” said David Buchanan, an AirBnB Host in Starkville. “I believe that the initially proposed regulations for short term rentals unfairly targeted short term rentals when the 64 thousand pound gorilla in the room truly is long term rentals.”

During the meeting, Mayor Lynn Spruill expressed its not their goal to do away with AirBnB rentals.

They want to come up with regulations that are fair and reasonable to both the renters and city leaders

The next public meeting is set to take place on October 22.