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Tempe considers regulating Airbnb-type short-term rental properties

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – The city of Tempe is considering new regulations that address short-term rentals booked through Airbnb and similar services.

“Unrestricted short-term vacation rentals can threaten the character of our neighborhoods,” Lauren Kuby, vice mayor of the East Valley suburb, said in a press release this week. “Cities enact zoning regulations to separate businesses from residential neighborhoods and maintain a high quality of life.”

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in 2016 barring local municipalities in Arizona from imposing restrictions on short-term rentals in most cases.

Tempe and other cities lobbied for changes in that law, arguing it was having a negative impact on residents because of “unintended consequences,” according to the release.

“Unrestrained vacation rentals lead to conversions of homes to boarding houses, increased rent and noise issues,” Kuby said. “All these unintended consequences of state law serve to endanger the sense of community in our neighborhoods.”

Earlier this year, Ducey signed a bill that modifies the previous one, allowing cities and towns to require property owners to provide authorities with contact information when they offer rentals through apps such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.

The update also allows municipalities to require licensing from short-term rental owners.

Tempe has come up with a proposal to regulate short-term rentals to the extent the law now allows.

“We want to ensure that Tempe has a way to help, so in the case that anything was to get out of hand at a vacation rental we have resources and information to offer the impacted neighborhood,” Councilman Joel Navarro said in the release.

According to the release, the proposed ordinance would add the following restrictions to Tempe’s zoning and development code:

  • Requires contact information for the owner and an emergency contact and that the contact information be displayed in the short-term rental.
  • Requires the owner to update their contact information in writing within 10 days of the effected change.
  • Requires the city manager or designee to develop the necessary forms and/or database.
  • Requires short-term rentals to comply with all federal and local laws, rules and regulations.
  • Clarifies nonresidential uses and requires the list of nonresidential uses to be displayed in the short-term rental.
  • Requires the owner of a short-term rental business to obtain a transaction privilege tax license before offering their property for rent.
  • Clarifies that a short-term rental operator may not offer their rental without a current transaction privilege tax license.
  • Defines a vacation rental or short-term rental.

Tempe will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposal at 6-7 p.m. Monday at the Pyle Recreation Center, 655 E. Southern Ave.

Residents can also express their opinions by taking an online survey.

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